Cobb Goes Fishing; Comes Up Empty | The Process Report

Cobb Goes Fishing; Comes Up Empty

In a game of inches, Rays’ starter Alex Cobb was slightly off on Tuesday night. Making his 2014 debut, the right-hander allowed four earned runs on six hits and four walks in five innings of work. The big blast against Cobb came off the bat of Adam Lind, a three-run home run with two outs in the first inning, that proved to be the early game-winner in a 4-2 Toronto victory.

Pitchers like Alex Cobb operate on the margins and thrive by coaxing their opponents to chase out of the zone. He was able to throw his changeup for strikes (71 percent). And his curveball did induce six swings and misses; however, his fastball command was off just a bit which sets Cobb’s world off axis.“Alex had his typically good stuff but the command was off” said Joe Maddon . He gives up the first-inning three-run home run otherwise [it’s] a different night. He settled in in a sense, but he just could not get the command of everything going on tonight. But stuff-wise it was still there.”

Against the Jays, Cobb threw 42 fastballs with exactly half of them strikes. Historically his strike percentage with the heater is around 62 percent. Meanwhile, he was not exactly wild either. In fact, he consistently hit the same spot. Unfortunately, it was just outside of the zone and Toronto’s hitters were not biting.


The bulk of Cobb’s misfires came away from right-handed batters. These pitches accounted for 14 of the 21 called balls on his fastball. This is generally a good area to miss, but if the hitters don’t chase it can make for an early exit as it did on Tuesday. “It was a battle the whole night trying to find that fastball location” Cobb said after the game. “I tried to make adjustments on the fly and it’s not the easiest thing.”

Offensively, the Rays did little against Jays’ starter Drew Hutchison. Making his first start since June of 2012 (Tommy John surgery), Hutchison was effectively wild, keeping the Rays off the board in 5 1/3 innings while surrendering three hits and three walks. Tampa Bay made it interesting late, bringing the go-ahead run to the plate in the ninth inning, but the first loss of the season could not be avoided.

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