Pirates Edinson Volquez: Pitch by Pitch Vs Yankees


The Edinson Volquez Project.

Edinson Volquez struggled again in another Grapefruit League start against the New York Yankees.  For a couple innings, it was maddening to watch.  For a couple of innings, it was fun to watch.

Because we had nothing else to do, we compiled the Volquez start against the Bronx Bombers here for you.

First inning

Eddie started Brett Gardner with a strike. Ball high and outside.  He came back in the middle of the plate with strike two.  Gardner slapped a ball foul.  As catcher Tony Sanchez tapped the dirt with his glove, Volquez delivered ball two up high.  Another pitch, this one low, was fouled back.  Gardner then flew out to Josh Harrison on the warning track on a pitch a bit outside the zone.

Derek Jeter fouled the first pitch off his padded left ankle.  The next pitch was fouled back.  Ahead 0-2 Volquez threw a breaking ball and the .190 batting Jeter fouled another ball off his ankle.  A hard breaking ball out of the zone was the first strikeout of the night.

Carlos Beltran stepped in and promptly lined the 12th pitch from Volquez into centerfield for a single.

Mark Teixeira took the first pitch low for ball one.  Ball two was outside, just missing the zone.  Then it what would become something we would see most of the evening, Volquez stepped off the rubber.  Ball three.  Again, very deliberate in his delivery, he got a strike on a 94 mile per hour fastball.  But the next pitch missed low,  and issued a two out walk to the .151 hitting Teixeira.

Why not attack Teixeira?

Brian McCann took strike one which looked a bit outside.  A breaking ball dropped in for strike two.  Another breaking ball, but this one well down in the zone was blocked by Sanchez.  Volquez adjusted his hat, lifted his arm and then stepped on the rubber and delivered his pitch which was fouled off.  Yet another new baseball was tossed in and Volquez rubbed it down.  Sanchez set up very low and Volquez delivered his pitch outside and McCann fouled it back again.  The $85 million dollar man murdered the next pitch down the line on an inside heater that was just off the plate.  It was his 23rd pitch of the inning.

Ray Searage,. the man who is going to be called a witch doctor if this can work out, came out to visit the mound.   It seemed like forever.

Alfonso Soriano stepped in and Volquez got ahead 0-1.  Volquez dug at the rubber.  Deep breath.  Breaking ball and Soriano swung and missed, but the ball got past Sanchez.  It was a good pitch and Sanchez seemed to be mixed up as he went to catch the pitch with his glove.  Sanchez retrieved the ball, but threw wide of the plate giving the Yankees their second run.  Ball one followed but then Soriano grounded out to Jordy Mercer to end the inning.

Second inning.

Kelly Johnson stepped in and Volquez delivered very high and outside, ball one.  A pitch right down the middle evened the count at 1-1, but then the next pitch was well inside.  Way outside- ball three.  Sanchez threw the ball back to Volquez who lazily reached out to grab it, stepped off the mound, rubbed it down, spit, and grabbed the rosin bag.  The next pitch was fouled off to make the count full.  Same thing on the full count with a double rosin bag toss after Johnson had fouled the pitch back.  On another payoff pitch, Johnson fouled the ball back.  Volquez stepped behind the rubber, but didn’t go to the rosin bag, just raised his arms over his head.

He then really reached back and bounced a pitch in the dirt for ball four.

The leadoff walk brought Tony Sanchez out for a pep talk.  Gaby Sanchez came over and gave a very vocal pep talk with his glove in front of his face.

It’s taking forever.

Volquez appears to have zero confidence.

Brian Roberts ripped a ball past the second baseman by about a foot or two for a single.

Ichiro Suzuki stepped in and the 38th pitch was delivered for strike one.  A nasty change-up had Suzuki backing out of the box as the pitch came right at the left handed batter and then dove into the strike zone.  Nasty.  And then pure bad luck happened as a breaking pitch was hit off the end of the bat in the most obscure way and barely made it past Michael Martinez behind second base.

Bases loaded.

Gardner stepped in and a breaking ball was called a strike.  Gardner didn’t believe it.  Neither did our eyes.  On his 42nd pitch, a breaking ball a two hopper was hit to second baseman Martinez who took two steps in and then softly flipped to Mercer at short, but the relay wasn’t in time.  3-0 Yankees.

Jeter came up with the Pirates infield back.  Volquez threw to first base to keep Gardner close.  Remember, one out and runners now on the corner.  Jeter fouled off the first pitch.  (Holy shit, we are at 785 words already and the second inning isn’t over)  Another deliberate pause by the Pirates right hander was followed up with a ball out of the zone.  Volquez dropped in a hanging curveball for strike two.

Gardner stole second without a throw thanks to an excellent jump.

On a 2-2 pitch Jeter got the job done with a groundball to Mercer and the Yankees were up 4-0.

Beltran took strike one.  Another breaking ball got over and Beltran was down 0-2.  A breaking ball inside for ball one was the 50 th pitch of the game.  Sanchez set up on the outside corner and had to dive back inside to catch the ball.  A 93 mile an hour heater ended the at bat with a strikeout…and a huge deep breath for the Buccos right hander.

Third inning

Mark Teixeira flew out on the first pitch to Jose Tabata in right field.

McCann was delivered ball one, way up high.  Pitch inside ball two.  Foul ball.  Foul ball.  Volquez delivered the ball exactly where Sanchez was set up, down in the strike zone.

And then Volquez stepped off the rubber.  He shook his head and motioned to Sanchez who came running out to the mound.

The ROOT cameras didn’t show it but McCann struck out.  The only thing we saw was Volquez shaking his head in frustration.

Strike one was delivered to Soriano.  The next pitch was low for ball one.  The camera flashed to Andrew McCutchen who looked as frustrated as we were.  Ball two inside.  Ball three way inside.  More stepping off the rubber.  A big spit.  And then back on the mound and an excellent inside pitch that Soriano hacked off to make it a full ount.  Right down the middle and Soriano flicked it toward the hole.  Martinez took one big step, dove for the ball, gloved it and threw the ball past Sanchez at first into the stands.

Soriano was issued a hit.  Whatever, I drank a four-pack of Dogfish Midas Touch already.  Damn.  If I die before the end of this, please tell Eddie that I love him and believe in him this year.

Ball one to Johnson.  The next pitch was fouled back.  A breaking ball dropped in for strike two.  Another breaking ball, but this one was hit toward left fielder Josh Harrison for the final out.

Fourth ining.

Three quick pitches, all with nice movement led to a groundball.  A nice change for strike one.  A heater for strike two was his 70th pitch.  Ground ball to Martinez was the first out of the inning.

On the next pitch… a ground ball to Martinez.  Two outs.  Holy hell!  The pace is frighteningly fast.  Two outs and I didn’t even take a sip.

Strike one on a 90 mile an hour fastball to Gardner.  Breaking ball strike two.  A little bit deliberate before the pitch, but nonetheless the 0-2 hitting Gardner grounded out to shortstop.

Fifth inning

Jeter stepped in and a groundball was hit toward the middle, gloved by Martinez and thrown to first.  One pitch.  One out.

Beltran took ball one, low in the zone.  Ball two up high.  Strike one low in the zone.  On the 80th pitch, a fly ball was hit to Andrew McCutchen for the second out.

Teixeira took the  83 mile an hour first pitch low for ball one.  90 mile an hour heater.  Teixeira fouled off the 1-1 breaking ball.  Low ball two.  The 85th pitch of the night was a breaking ball fouled off on a yes, no, shake to Tony Sanchez.  A 91 mile an hour fastball was swung and missed by Teixeira.


Volquez threw 86 pitches with 60 of them being strikes. His line: 5 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K

Bad pre 2013-Charlie Morton-like-luck.

Just pitch Eddie.  The deliberate nature of the antics on the mound slow the game down immensely for the fielders behind Volquez.

Some of the pitches are unreal.  Good way.

Some of the pitches are unreal.  Bad way.

Fastball on both halves worked.  Trying to paint didn’t work.

Why not attack?

Change-up looked sharper as the game went along.

Velocity is good, touching 94 on occasion.

Location and command seem to be a work in progress.  It really disappears on him, usually after pissing around on the mound.

The reaction from Volquez on the mound doesn’t seem to help him.  That’s the mental approach that keeps being discussed by the Bucs leadership such as Ray Searage, Clint Hurdle and Neal Huntington.