Note: League average HR/9 is 1.04, HR/FB is around 10.
Poor Jeremy Guthrie. So shitty, yet so terrible. Jeremy Guthrie's propensity for serving up cookies fuels the persistent rumors of a possible trade to Keebler for a Tollhouse to be named later.
Clearly Edwin liked what he saw from the crappy Orioles pitching staff in 2009. Jason Berken will be good one day but that day is yet to arrive. Mark Hendrickson ranks as one of the worst pitchers to continually hold down a job in baseball history.
David Price will also figure out how to get bums like EE out at the big league level sooner rather than later, but he struggled with his control and command in 2009. Poor Sergio Mitre is bad enough without Joe Girardi throwing him to the wolves as he did in this particular start. The Jays knocked Mitre around for 5 merciless innings, surrendering 7 runs (4 tater tots!) while Joe G rested his beleaguered 'pen.
While Mitre, Berken, and Price may serve as the "case in point" when I express skepticism over inflated September numbers, the next two on this list are legit. The real effing deal. Taking Justin Verlander deep is reason to puff out the chest, strut around ignite low-grade ordnances in or around your visage. Doubly so for Mo; though he did serve up a few more flat cutters in 2009 than anyone's come to expect (his 15.7% HR/FB rate is way up from a career mark of 6.6%.)
To refresh: the green box is the strike zone and the blue dots are the pitches Encarnacion hit out of the park in September. The squared pitches are curveballs, the circled pitch is a cutter Mo left up and out over the plate.
What else we got here? The two curves came courtesy of Justin Verlander and Jason Berken. Verlander threw EE a first pitch curveball for a strike then tried to sneak another one past him. Encarnacion took him deep. Berken offered a curve in a 1-1 count after missing with a slider and throwing a good fastball down in the zone. Everything else was a fastball, most early in the count. Three first pitch homers, two at 0-1, one 1-0 and a 2-0 treat from Hendrickson.
In fact the two noteworthy homeruns off decent hurlers both came in 0-1 counts. What does that mean? I don't know, but I'll give the man (The Player?) all the credit in the world for sticking with a Verlander curve and jacking a Rivera cutter. The rest? Meh. I think that collection of bums and kids speaks for itself.
Which isn't to say the only home runs that count are sliders on the black expertly knocked the other way, but there isn't much here that suggests Edwin will continue his torrid finish to 2009 when the level of opposition rises again. Can we put him down for 12 or 15 next year? Probably, but once word around the American league gets out about his love of early fastballs over the plate, he isn't likely to see too many more.
Thanks to Baseball Reference, Hit Tracker, and Fangraphs for all the juicy informations and Getty Images via Daylife for the image.