Phillies: Breaking down Vince Velasquez’s dominating performance against the Yankees

Vince Velasquez got the start in the third Phillies exhibition game at Yankee Stadium Monday night. Velasquez came off a phenomenal performance in the Phillies intersquad game where he pitched 4 solid innings. Let’s see how he answered tonight against a dangerous Yankees lineup.

First Inning: 25 pitches, 1 Hit, 1 Walk, 1 HBP, 3 Strikeouts

The bottom of the first was a classic Vince Velasquez inning. He started the game being wild with his fastball as he hit DJ Lemahieu with a fastball to put the leadoff hitter on. He bounced back nicely against the dangerous Aaron Judge, striking him out swinging with a curveball in the dirt. After a 1-out single by Gleyber Torres, Velasquez absolutely buckled Giancarlo Stanton with a front door curveball. A walk to Aaron Hicks loaded the bases and Velasquez got out of the jam striking out Gary Sanchez to retire the side. It was a classic inning for Velasquez; lack of control, high pitch count, great strikeout pitches.

Fastball Velocity: 91-94

Second Inning: 10 pitches, 1 hit, 1 Strikeout

Vince started the second by hanging a curveball to Luke Voit and Voit smacked it into left center field for a leadoff double. We have seen Vince get rattled easily but he bared down and struck out Brett Gardner looking with a 95 MPH fastball. After retiring the next hitter Velasquez hung a curveball to DJ Lemahieu but the ball was caught up against the right field wall to end the frame. Vince struggled with his curveball location in the second, he was lucky to get out of the inning unharmed. Very encouraging to see him pitch around a leadoff double.

Fastball Velocity: 91-95

Third Inning: 15 Pitches, 1 Strikeout

Velasquez’s Changeup (88mph) was his best friend in the bottom of the third inning. He got Judge swinging once again and Gleyber Torres to roll over weakly to the left side, both with the two seam fastball. He fell behind Stanton 3-1 but battled back and got him to weakly fly out to center for an easy 1-2-3 inning.

Fastball velocity: 93-94

Fourth Inning: 13 Pitches, 1 Strikeout

Velasquez really started to settle into this game in the bottom of the fourth. He did start the inning by falling behind 3-0 to Aaron Hicks, but Hicks bailed him out by popping up in the infield. He finished up the inning by freezing Luke Voit with a back door changeup to secure his second straight 1-2-3 inning.

Fastball Velocity: 93-95

Fifth Inning: 9 Pitches, 1 Hit, Double Play

After getting the leadoff hitter to pop out, Gio Urshela lined a ball down the right field line on a very good curveball. It was a nice peace of hitting but Vince bounced right back and got DJ Lemahieu to hit into a first pitch double play to end the frame.

Fastball Velocity: 93

Extended Fifth Inning: 3 Pitches, 1 Homerun Allowed

For pitch count purposes they had the players run back onto the field after Velasquez finished off the 5th inning to face one more hitter, Aaron Judge. After getting ahead 0-2 Judge cranked an opposite field homerun deep into the right center gap. Judge didn’t even run around the bases, the players cleared the field, intersquad baseball at its finest.

Final Line: 5+Innings/4 Hits/1 Run/1 Walk/ 1 HBP/ 6 Strikeouts/ 75 Pitches

Velasquez had another great outing against a top lineup in the league. I think this start locks Vince into a starting rotation spot as he looks like he has improved this offseason. Let’s hope Vince can carry this success into his next start when the games will matter.

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