In case you haven’t heard: Matt Barnes is quickly establishing himself as a dominant closer for the Boston Red Sox.
Barnes has five saves on the season to go with a 2.77 ERA, 22 strikeouts and just three walks. The right-hander struggled mightily in the past when it came to walking batters. But a new tempo and approach have helped Barnes become the pitcher he is this year.
“If you throw 100 fastballs down the middle of the plate in an 0-0 count, 92% of the time, you get a positive result,” Barnes told MassLive’s Chris Cotillo. “To me, if you tell me 92% of the time I can be successful doing something, I?m going to take those odds all day every day.”
So, what exactly changed?
“We looked at some of the analytical stuff on attacking the strike zone, working quick and forcing guys to make some decisions at the plate,” Barnes said. “I?ve taken that wholeheartedly and really tried to use that to my advantage. It?s about working quick, it?s about attacking guys. It?s being confident in my stuff and being aggressive in the zone.”
It’s certainly working, and Barnes has the numbers to prove it.