Boyd bounces back against Twins

Matt Boyd had a week between starts against the Twins to make adjustment safter giving up seven runs on eight hits in 3 2/3 innings at Comerica Park. But he knew what the adjustments were relatively quickly.

“Not a whole lot of tweaking, more just refining,” Boyd said beforehand. “Sometimes there’s just one or two little things that can take you out of your delivery.

They were smaller tweaks. But the results were vastly different. It wasn’t just about the run difference, but the pitches that led to it.

Boyd had a half-dozen swings and misses from Twins hitters over 74 pitches last week in Detroit. This time around, he had a half-dozen swinging strikeouts. He had 13 swings and misses out of 99 pitches, seven off his fastball alone. And until back-to-back 15-pitch innings in the seventh and eighth, including a Robbie Grossman homer in the seventh, Boyd not only had a chance at his first career complete game; he had a chance to get it done in less than 100 pitches, known as a Maddux.

He didn’t get it, but he got arguably the best performance of his Major League career. And he got it against the team that handed him one of his worst starts of the season.

“It was good to see Boyd bounce back, really,” manager Brad Ausmus said. “He had an outstanding game. He did an excellent job. He saved our bullpen, pitched well, got the win. It was good for him to bounce back.”

The key to the difference was pitch location. When he missed his location last week, he missed by a lot, and he tended to miss over the middle of the plate. This time, he was more refined, missing by smaller margins and in areas where he couldn’t get pounded.

“The mechanical adjustment that we made, it’s just about location,” Boyd said. “If you can actually command it, it’s small, not big misses.”

He also had all of his pitches working at one time or another, no time more obvious than his five consecutive strikeouts from the end of the third inning into the fifth. Brian Dozier struck out swinging at an 89 mph slider, a pitch that didn’t get him results last time. The changeup that sent down Jorge Polanco swinging was a workhorse pitch for him most of the game. Robbie Grossman struck out on a foul tip off a 92 mph fastball. Kennys Vargas went down hacking at the slider. Kurt Suzuki chased the 0-2 changeup for a strikeout to lead off the fifth before Max Kepler hit the first pitch he saw from Boyd and grounded out.

Boyd retired 18 of 19 batters after Dozier led off Boyd’s outing with a single through the middle. Boyd had just two three-ball counts in that stretch, one of them the second-inning walk to Kepler that broke up the string.

“He just didn’t have his command when he saw the Twins the last time,” Ausmus said. “He had all four pitches working, used them all, but he was able to throw strikes.”

He didn’t use them all equally, moreso the fastball-changeup combination. Yet even with just 15 or so sliders and changeups, he got results, allowed no hits but inducing five swings and misses.


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The best performance of his career. Game score 78

His game score vs Rangers was 74 @ Texas. Certainly the difference in offense and park makes” arguably” the right word

Nice game Boyd. Miggy apparently really wanted to win last night. Pretty reckless while doing it – he was close to being out more than once on that trip around the bases. I can’t fault the guy, looked like he wanted to carry the team on his shoulders last night so almost like he was sending a message to the rest of the gang.

good to see McCann contribute offensively. still difficult to say how much upside remains in his bat. has not shown hoped for improvement vs RHP this season. work in progress…perhaps some offseason adjustments will prove helpful

kudos to Boyd for this performance. i guess the next step for him is to make those ‘tweaks’ on the fly, in-game to limit the damage

The progress Boyd has made is one of the bright spots of this season. He’s a flyball pitcher, so Comerica a good home park for him. His HR rate has dropped this season, but still 2nd to Sanchez among the starters.

Considering the success the young starters have had this season, one could make a case that the most damaging injury was to Castellanos. No matter how he’d been hitting before the injury, he certainly would have helped out some during those team offensive disappearances. Enough to make a difference in the current race(s) I’d say.

I like your take, but if you are running out a 5-man rotation then JZ’s physical problems make for a legitimate argument for him, particularly given his blazing start as well as his bulldog history. Although I don’t see JZ as an ACE, I like him as you do, but maybe not quite as much. And don’t you think my CAPS are cool?

You do realize that the ACE question was rhetorical, right? Dan has been capitalizing that term for a long time and I just threw that in with parentheses. Being married to an editor causes one to question word usage and such. 🙂

McCann’s value is behind the plate. He is in the lineup first and foremost for his defense, not for his offense. For those who have played at least half the games for their respective teams, he is among the league leaders in SB%, CS, CS%, F% and Es.

As far as offense is concerned, McCann has value relative to the number of games he has played, but is no MLB star. He is tied for 7th in games played in the AL. McCann is also 7th in HRs and and 8th in RBIs.

My bad, Looking at my comment again, it should read PBs not CS%.

I was hoping to see Steven DH today. Instead we have J-Up there with Collins in left.

I think that turd F. Rod threw the game against K.C.!!!!! I smell a rat! I am sure others feel the same way. He could have easily been paid off. Every game is as valuable as a bag of diamonds. How much did this turd take to throw the game?

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