It’s no big secret that Jose Altuve has been setting the baseball world on fire with his bat this season. He not only hits for some power — he has 18 homers so far this year — but he strikes out only 12.3% of the time. The league average strikeout rate is right around 20%.
My point to all of this is to say that Zack Greinke totally dominated Altuve in Monday night’s game. He struck him out every time he faced him — that’s three times if you’re counting. And it’s how he did it that’s fun to look at. So, for you’re reading pleasure, below are all three strikezone plots from Altuve’s ABs against Greinke, along with video of said fleecings.
The first thing to note is that Altuve stuck out swinging each time. He’s an agressive hitter so it’s not really much of a surprise that he was swinging. The real surprise is that he missed on the third strike three times in a row. In fact, last night was the first three strikeout game by Altuve all year – that’s over 114 games.
The first two pitches were almost identical sliders, both down and away. That just set Altuve up for a nasty sinker on the inside part of the plate, a truly masterful pitch by Greinke to end a night of utter domination.