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If Good Pitching Beats Good Hitting...

does bad hitting beat bad pitching?

I've used the new Gameday pitch break and pitch f/x to look at what some of our pitchers have done this season; tonight I want to use it to look at what our hitters have done.

In the top of the second Jason Giambi took a pitch the other way (woot!) and out of the yard against Jose Contreras. It was the fourth pitch Jason saw from Jose (in the game and in the AB), and the third fastball. After a first pitch ball (89 mph fastball, 5" break) low and away, Giambi fouled off an inside fastball (91 mph, 4" break). Contreras hung a changeup at eye-level (80 mph, 8" break), then came back with an outside fastball (91 mph, 5" break).
The speed and the break weren't the problem. In the clip I saw at MLB the pitch might have caught a little too much of the plate, but it wasn't down the center, and every Yankee fan knows that the scouting report on Giambi is that he pulls everything. Location -wise, that pitch was a tenth of an inch from being a groundball to the second baseman. The only complaint I could come up with is the approach- Contreras throws a fastball, a slider, a curve, a change, and a split; you can't show Jason Giambi 3 fastballs in 4 pitches. But, that feels like a stretch to me.
Good hitting beats good pitching.

In the 7th inning, Octavio Dotel was brought into the game with the bases loaded; he struck out Captain Clutch on 5 pitches (all fastballs [cutters?], two of three strikes swinging]). Up stepped Bobby Abreu. Dotel stuck with his fastball (he also throws a quality slider and a show-me change). 92 mph, 5" break in the right hand batters box. 90 mph, 3" break in the right hand batters box (but closer to the plate). 92 mph, 4" break, down the heart of the plate. Even on the replay, that pitch screams "Hit me or I'll call you Cairomack."
Bad hitting beat bad pitching.

After Dotel served up the long ball to Abreu and then walked Matsui, Ozzie Guillen brought in Matt Thornton. Thornton got the third out in the 7th (5 pitches), then walked Robbie Cano to start the 8th (8 pitches), struck out Jason Giambi (5 pitches), gave up a single to Ensberg (6 pitches, and 17th straight fastball!), and got Melky Cabrera to ground out.
Johnny Damon saw 3 fastballs: 95 mph, 4" break, high; 95 mph, 3" break, way outside; and, 95 mph, 4" break, a touch on the inside part of 'right down Broadway,' which happens to be just where Johnny Damon likes his fastballs (just ask tomorrow's starter Javy Vasquez). To make matters worse, it was Thornton's 31 pitch of the night (for comparison, imagine Farnsworth throwing 30 pitches- there'd be no Yankee fans left because we'd all have died of stroke and coronary failure), and his 28th fastball. Somewhere along the line, Johnny had a really good look and knew to do with what was coming.
Bad hitting beat bad pitch.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe the Yanks hitting was doing exactly what it's supposed to do: punish mistakes. But, just as I'm not ready to declare Moose or Giambi's careers over in April, I'm not ready to declare any slumps busted after tonight.