Photo Credit: Ted S. Warren/AP – Seattle PI
In his last start, Andrew Albers took a no hitter into the sixth inning and absolutely baffled the Oakland Athletics; it was his best start, out of the four he’s made, in a Mariners uniform. The 31-year old’s three other starts have been solid, which has been a gold mine for manage Scott Servais and his overtaxed bullpen.
The right hander has found the majority of his success against right handed hitters this season, despite the fact that 28.6% of balls hit by righties were hit hard. Righties are only hitting .261/.315/.397 against Albers, despite the fact that he is only striking out 16.2% of righties — compared to 21.1% of lefties. The reason Albers has been so good against righties is because he’s mostly inducing line drives and ground balls, which are easier to defend (and less likely to leave the yard) than fly balls….and the 31-year old has been able to limit fly balls against righties because of where he’s been locating the ball.
Against right handed hitting, Albers has been keeping the ball low an away which is making it harder for the batters to square up the ball on the good end of the bat to get it in the air; which has led to a fly ball percentage of 33.9% against righties…compared to 40% for lefties.
And lefties are whom Albers has run into trouble against. Left handed hitters are currently hitting .316/.316/.579 against Albers, and they’ve been more successful because of the elevated fly balll rate — 16.7% of their fly balls turn into fingers against Albers. The reason the 31-year old has struggled against lefties is that he’s been leaving the ball up and over the middle of the plate.
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