I wrote about David Price the other day, and how he’s become much more economical with his pitches. Matt Moore seems to be on board as well. Throwing a two-hit shutout in Boston on Monday evening, Moore threw just 109 pitches, seventy-four for strikes. How effective was the twenty-four- year-old? The Red Sox were just oh-for-one with runners in scoring position.
Moore dominated by pounding the zone, while featuring the fastball and mixing in the curve ball and change-up effectively. The key? Getting ahead in the count, and then hitting his spots. It sounds so easy, but many young pitchers are hesitant to let the ball be hit. On Monday, Moore struck out only four, which means the ball was put in play with regularity. Rarely was the ball hit hard, which indicates Moore was PITCHING rather than throwing. He was keeping batters off-balance and getting them to hit his pitch, rather than having to give in and put one over the heart of the plate.
Pitching coach Jim Hickey said he liked the way Moore was breathing. What does that have to do with pitching? It means the kid was relaxed and in charge.
Price was in complete command last night, arguably better than Moore was on Monday. He threw only ninety-seven pitches, with seventy-two strikes, and was never in trouble, save a solo homer from Mike Napoli. Overall, he never faced more than four batters in any inning. Here’s a piece of trivia: Price and Moore are the first lefty teammates with CG wins at Fenway in the same series since ’73 – if you want to add it.
- In their wins over Boston, both Moore and Price held Boston lead-off hitter Jacoby Ellsbury in check. He was oh-for-four against each lefty.
- Best play of the series? The Yunell Escobar-to Ben Zobrist-to James Loney double play in last night’s game. Don’t believe me? Click to watch.
- New dad James Loney is three-for-seven in the two wins at The Fens, with three ribbies
The series finale has been postponed due to rain and will be made up on Monday.