Smoke Signals: Salazar’s Location, Holland’s Arsenal and Costly Defense

Danny Salazar again had a rough first inning, allowing three of his four earned runs in the first frame. Salazar allowed two of the four hits in the bottom of the first on balls left up in the zone, also walking two in the first.

The hard-throwing righty settled in after his rough first, striking out the side in the second, and striking out four more from there.

chart 14 Smoke Signals: Salazars Location, Hollands Arsenal and Costly Defense

Taking a look at Salazar’s pitch chart, it can be seen that (1) when Salazar missed low and away from his body, he missed badly, never setting up that corner. That certainly did not help on his three walks.

Combine that with (2) the absence of any presence on the plate low-and-in on righties/low-and-away for lefties, and it may be clear why Salazar was tagged so often diagonally from Figure 1 to his arm slot.

The good news is that Salazar was never caught up in the zone, and rarely missed when aiming up in the zone. Note that (3) of the five pitches up and barely out of the zone, all fastballs, four were swung on and missed, while Todd Frazier fouled one off. None of the balls up and in the zone were put in play, a testament to Salazar’s fastball.

If Salazar can find consistency early in his outings, he could find a way to extend his outings. His fourth start was his shortest at 5 IP and 97 pitches. The 2016 All-Star had gone at least 5 2/3 and 100 pitches in his three previous starts.

HoLLLLLLLand

Derek Holland continued his dominance against the Indians on Sunday, lowering the Tribe’s batting average against the lefty to .232 for his career. That is lower than any team who has faced the Newark, OH native more than eight times.

Terry Francona pointed out postgame that Holland worked the same as he did against the Tribe as he did the first time around on April 12, starting with fastballs in and working away with his knuckle curve.

Holland racked up a season-high six strikeouts on Sunday, only one of which came on that knuckle curve. Three came on sinkers, and two on sliders.

chart 15 Smoke Signals: Salazars Location, Hollands Arsenal and Costly Defense

The southpaw allowed just one hit and struck out four through six innings on April 12, while he scattered three over six Sunday. Francisco Lindor’s solo home run is the only mark against Holland on the season.

He is now 7-1 against the Indians in his career over 11 starts.

U-G-L-E-E-E(-E)

The Tribe defense was their ultimate downfall on Sunday, committing three errors, and potentially with a fourth that went ruled as a hit.

Only four of the White Sox’s six runs came as earned, with all four charged to Danny Salazar.

Perhaps the most egregious of the mishaps was an under-hand shovel from Carlos Santana that was dropped at first base by Michael Martinez. The utility infielder has been retained by Terry Francona for his defense and versatility despite the presence of Erik Gonzalez at Columbus.

The error came on a sacrifice bunt from Jacob May, another instance of the Indians missing a free out, leading to the fifth White Sox run. On the ensuing run, Roberto Perez failed to receive a throw from Brandon Guyer cleanly, despite the ball beating Omar Narvaez by two-to-three steps.

More from Alex Hooper | 92.3 The Fan
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