Archer, Hanigan Slide Past Jays In Series Finale | The Process Report

Archer, Hanigan Slide Past Jays In Series Finale

A few weeks ago I theorized that a battery of Chris Archer and Ryan Hanigan may be something we would see more often this season. Archer’s fastball slash slider combination in conjunction with where Hanigan receives the most called strikes seemed like a potential match. The duo hooked up on Thursday with favorable results.

Archer was solid in his 2014 debut which happened to come on the heels of signing what could be an eight-year extension. He used 98 pitches to complete six innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks while striking out seven en route to his first victory of the year. After much talk of his changeup this spring, the offering was left on the shelf.

Despite throwing fastballs and sliders exclusively according to ESPN Stats & Info, Archer and Hanigan were able to keep Toronto’s lineup off balance by varying location – even with the slider – and keeping the two-pitch mix relatively unpredictable. There were several instances where Jays’ hitters were clearly looking slider and received a mid-90s heater. Edwin Encarnacion whiffed badly on a 95-mph heater down the middle in a 2-2 count during the top of the sixth inning. There were also examples of the inverse such as Dioner Navarro swinging over an 87-mph slider in a 1-0 count in the same frame.

Archer and Hanigan collaborated on 60 strikes: 13 swing and misses, 14 fouls, 15 balls in play and 18 called strikes. In regards to called strikes, the pair was able to coax a favorable call on six pitches out of the strike zone including three to start a plate appearance. Of the six “Hanigan helpers” four of them were sliders.

A solid first outing doesn’t mean Archer and Hanigan will become an exclusive item. At the same time, they surely earned themselves a second date; one that will hopefully give us another look at what might be a budding relationship.

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