The year of the Fat Pitcher unzipping their pants and pissing on baseballs continued last night as Matt Albers drilled a leadoff double in the top of the 13 th inning last night. He eventually scored the game winning run after advancing to third on a wild pitch and finally scored the game winning run on a sac fly by Jose Abreu. More importantly, I think the White Sox have found their left handed power bat they’ve coveted since Drake and Adam Laroche shocked the world with their retirements. What a time to be alive! Let’s break it down:
Swing – A+
No bullshit, this is the best stroke we’ve seen on a left handed power hitter since the days of Jim Thome.
*High leg kick, lands on the ball of his front foot and drives his back hip through the baseball. His balance was, simply stated, perfect. It was eerily reminiscent of Manny Ramirez
*Swing plane starts high, levels out, and finishes high – this generates backspin on the baseball as contact is made, which in turn generates carry as the ball is in flight. Albert Pujols has perfected the art of generating backspin on the baseball with a similar swing plane, and Albers has mastered it as well
*The pitch was located on the outer half of the plate, Albers let it travel deep into the zone, he kept his hands inside the baseball, and went with the pitch to the opposite field. This reminded me of Joe Mauer circa 2011. Tom Emanski just came himself to the moon
Base Running – B+
As soon as Albers barreled up Verrett’s 2-2 pitch, he put his head down and took what can only be described at the most efficient possible route possible to just barely beat Yo’s throw from CF. Any wasted step out of the box, any ball watching, any checking coaches – Albers is hosed.
Get em on, get em over, get em in. Now, I’m of the opinion that teams should almost never bunt. Why give a team a free out? Let the defense make a mistake. And make a mistake they did. Logan Verrett, knowing fully Ricky Henderson reincarnated was manning 2B, lost focus of his task at the plate, through a wild pitch, allowing Albers to advance to 3B. His lead off was beautiful; not too far off the base where he’s worried about getting picked off, yet far enough where he was in the pitcher’s head.
You didn’t think I wasn’t gonna nitpick though, did you? My one gripe with Albers’ baserunning that when he was tagging for the go ahead run, his head was down and he was listening to the 3B coach to send him once the ball was caught. Don’t be an idiot and use your eyes, Matt. Light travels faster than speed, everyone knows that.
Real talk, Albers has struggled recently after 30+ straight scoreless innings dating back to last July. Now, being a sinker ball pitcher that relies on creating weak contact with his fastball, I really, honestly believe that Albers having to scoot his hefty ass around the bases may have helped tire him out a bit. It’s hard to explain, but a tired arm is almost a good arm for someone who throws a sinker ball. When a sinker ball pitcher is fresh, they generate more RPMs on the ball, which generate tighter back spin, which inhibits the ball from sinking. It’s simple physics. Now, Albers was touching 93-94MPH pretty easily yesterday, and I’m gonna chalk that up having adrenaline coursing through his veins, opposed to gravy for once. Or maybe the Mets hitters are just dog shit. Yep, probably the latter.
Regardless, the White Sox are #BACK. Off day today, then Rodon, Sale, Quintana against Detroit this weekend. This is the perfect time for the Sox to take 4-5 and keep the ball rolling and forget the god awful month of May.