Cobb’s Inside Job | The Process Report

Cobb’s Inside Job

Alex Cobb brought his proverbial A-game to the mound last night against the Rangers. For the 13th time this season, he went at least six innings, and limited the opposition to two or fewer runs for the 12th time. All while achieving a double-digit strikeout total for the first time since his outing against the Padres four months ago.

He took the mound to oppose a team that has played much like, if not worse, than the Rays have in recent weeks. The Rangers came into the game with a .255/.313/.366 team slash line in the month of September with strikeout rates as well as walk rates below the league average. Cobb has been split-neutral in 2013, but has been extra tough on right-handed batters as he has allowed just 10 extra base hits in 200 plate appearances. That made the matchup against the Rangers ideal, as they have missed Nelson Cruz’s power. In the month of September, the Rangers have had just ten extra base hits against right-handed pitching and Alex Rios owns the only home run.

Cobb spent a majority of the evening located pitches down or down and in against the Rangers, because it works well for him. He threw 53 pitches to right-handed batters yesterday and allowed three hits, each of which came on pitches he elevated in the strike zone.

strike-zone (36)

When Cobb located his pitches at the bottom of the strike zone while establishing his fastball on the inner third of the plate, he looked practically unhittable last night. He threw 53 pitches to the right-handed batters in the lineup last night – 41  on the inner half and 12 on the outer half.

Two parts command and one part establishing his fastball on the inner half allowed Cobb to continue to frustrate the best bats in the Rangers’ lineup last night, all of which happen to be right-handed.  It is something Jeremy Hellickson likely observed last night from the dugout and hopefully something he can build upon while also working on being less predictable to left-handed batters.

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