Phillies Lose Home Opener to Nationals, 7-6: Five Observations
By John Town
Home Runs and Inefficiency Still Hurting Vince Velasquez
One of Vince Velasquez‘s biggest problems in 2016 was the long ball. His 14.9% home run/fly ball ratio was beyond Fangraphs’ standard for “awful”. Velasquez gave up 21 home runs in 24 starts last year, which is far above where he needs to be.
In his first start of the 2017 season, home runs still plagued Velasquez. Out of the five hits he allowed, two were home runs. He walked three batters as well, which only made the home runs hurt even worse.
On the brighter side, Velasquez managed to strike out10 batters in his start. However, it took him 94 pitches to get through just four innings, so he was forced out of action early.
While 10 strikeouts are impressive, it isn’t ideal for Velasquez. We know he can strike out batters, but lasting deeper into games is something we have yet to see from Velasquez. Personally, I would much rather see Velasquez go six or seven innings and strike out five or six than last just four and strike out 10. In the end, an out is an out no matter how you get it.
Hopefully, Velasquez will last more than just four innings and stay away from the long ball in his next start.