The Pierzynski Effect
I really have no basis for my theory, the sample is too short and the other team was basically a AAA team in a MLB city. So holes can be blown into this argument several times over and I’m okay with that. I could be very wrong here and that wouldn’t be the first time either. But…..if I’m right, this is going to be a very enjoyable season for your Texas Rangers.
Two days later, Pierzynski caught Yu Darvish in a near no hitter/perfect game, where Yu was completely dominant. We’ve seen Darvish dominate hitters before, but nothing like that. Only two pitches caught the barrel of Houston batters, Chris Carter in the warning track shot to David Murphy and the single up the middle by Marwin. Freaking Marwin! Anyway, as Jamey Newberg pointed out, the battery of Darish and Pierzynski threw the slider down and away in crucial counts. At no time was AJ afraid to call any pitch in any count. 14 K’s later and Yu almost made history. 27 whiffs on his 111 pitches and using all of his arsenal.
Yesterday, Alexi Ogando took the hill for the Rangers and once again AJ was behind the dish. Once again the a Ranger starter was amazing with only one walk and 10 strikeouts in another shutout. There were 19 swings and misses on Ogando pitches yesterday, 12 coming off the slider alone. If you are keeping count, that is 64 whiffs from the Texas starters alone. I didn’t even factor in the bullpen, that included Joe Nathan striking out the side and Michael Kirkman who had two K’s himself. Ogando looked like a different pitcher yesterday with that changeup being a big part of his modus operandi.
The common denominator, so far, has been AJ Pierzynski. The pitchers look comfortable, and there seem to be little to none shaking off of pitches. Now, AJ was also behind the plate for the Derek Lowe disaster on Opening Night, so there is that argument as well. As we move forward in the season, keep your eye on how well the pitchers perform with Pierzynski behind the plate. Also look for Derek Holland, who is notorious for shaking off cathers to pull a Nuke Laloosh and nod and fire. As the season progresses, lets see if there is anything to the Pierzynski Effect.