4) Ventura’s Outing Turned On One Bad Pitch
After mostly attacking hitters in his last start against Boston, Yordano Ventura was back to fighting his command on Sunday.
In 6.0 innings, Ventura walked 4 while allowing 5 hits, 3 earned runs while notching 3 strikeouts. Though Ventura earned a quality start, it wasn’t a good outing. His game turned on one terrible pitch in the fifth inning.
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With the score tied 1-1, the White Sox loaded the bases against Ventura with two outs. Ventura got Melky Cabrera down 0-2, but then grooved a medium fastball down the middle and belt high. Cabrera laced a line drive into left center to score two runs.
Ventura should NEVER have given Cabrera a pitch that good with no balls and two strikes. He held every option in the book there. He could have gone with an outside change-up, a curve in the dirt, or high gas out of the strike zone to bait Cabrera to chase if he was looking fastball.
I suspect that Ventura was trying to execute the latter choice but simply missed.
One hitter later he got away with a high change-up that first baseman Jerry Sands took for a called third strike. It’s pretty clear that Ventura missed because catcher Salvador Perez gestured low with his glove and held it down in the zone before the pitch.
On one hand, Ventura allowing only three runs while fighting his command is good. On the negative, Ventura has walked more hitters than any pitcher in the league. That’s got to change before Ventura can turn his season around.
Next: Paulo Orlando