For Buck’s Sake

Image courtesy of Daylife

What a night for John Buck: three home runs, five RBI’s, and a temporary reprieval from Cito’s imaginary doghouse.

Buck couldn’t have picked a better time to bust out of his slump – going into last night’s game, Buck was 2 for 29 in the past four series which translated a .074 batting average.

Not that a 30 at-bat slump warrants being benched, but maybe John Buck needed that game off on Wednesday to clear his thoughts and focus on one thing: the long ball.


Buck jumped all over the Oakland A’s pitching as seen below, with a breakdown of the Pitch F/X from all three home runs courtesy of Brooks Baseball.

Home Run vs. Justin Duchscherer
-68 MPH Curveball

Home Run vs. Blevins
-85 MPH Changeup

Home Run vs. Bresler (6th inning)
-90 MPH Fastball

Not to take anything away from John Buck’s incredible game at the plate, but those pitches were directly in his wheelhouse. Toss a couple of off-speed pitches directly into the wheelhouse of Vernon Wells, Aaron Hill, Adam Lind, or even Jose Bautista and they will destroy them as well.

While Buck normally hacks away at pitches inside and down in the zone, he connected on two breaking balls and one fastball right in his sweet spot.

Ordinarily, we would’ve seen Buck sent packing taking big cuts at pitches low in the zone, but he had the timing down perfectly on Duchscherer’s curveball and Blevins’ changeup.

So just a quick scouting report for opponents facing him in the future: just like Randy Ruiz can’t pass up a McRib sandwich, John Buck can’t resist anything low and off the left side of the plate.

Ian Hunter

Ian has been writing about the Toronto Blue Jays since 2007. He enjoyed the tail-end of the Roy Halladay era and vividly remembers the Alex Rodriguez "mine" incident. He'll also retell the story of Game 5 of the 2015 ALDS to his kids for the next 20 years.