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Behind the Box Score: Boone Logan matches up

Despite tearing Josh Tomlin and Danny Salazar apart with three home runs and five RBIs, Corey Dickerson could not solve Boone Logan in a trio of critical matchups.

CLEVELAND – Corey Dickerson had his fair share of success in three games against the Indians this week as he went 4-for-14 (.286) with three home runs, four runs scored, five runs batted in and one walk.

Boone Logan begs to differ.

The left-handed specialist retired Dickerson all three times he faced him and has not allowed a run in his last 2.1 innings pitched (five games).

Despite a matchup against an intimidating hitter who currently leads the big leagues in hits (51), Logan did not back down and used his fastball-slider mix to keep the score from changing in his three performances…

5/15: Boone Logan vs. Corey Dickerson - First-pitch flyout on a slider outside the strike zone

Pitch velocity: 84.8-mph

Exit velocity: 77.6-mph

5/16: Boone Logan vs. Corey Dickerson - Seven-pitch strikeout on a slider, low-and-away

Pitch velocity: 85.0-mph

5/17: Boone Logan vs. Corey Dickerson: First-pitch groundout on a two-seam fastball, down-and-in

Pitch velocity: 93.1-mph

Exit velocity: None (too slow to record)

Working as an alternative option to Andrew Miller, Logan has sufficiently filled the need for a second southpaw out of the pen through one and a half months this season.

"Boone’s here to get the better lefties out, that’s why he’s here," said Francona. "Normally when he’s doing that, it gives us that other look in the bullpen that’s really big for us, and we know that.”

Logan entered play throwing his slider a career-high 57% rate, a percentage similar to that of Miller and his sweeping slider (59.5%).

Whether he is adopting the strategies of Miller or not, Logan is making hitters chase his pitches outside the strike zone at a career-best 41.2% (O-Swing) clip, meaning that the opposition has never been more fooled against the southpaw before. In addition, hitters are swinging at 48.8% (Swing) of Logan’s pitches, another career-high mark that destroys his 11-year average of 42.7%.

Because batters are swinging more, there is only one reasonable statistic that proves why he has been so dominant as of late with a 2.00 ERA, 12 strikeouts and a 1.11 WHIP in nine innings of work (19 appearances)...

Weak contact.

Not only is Logan holding hitters to a career-low 61.8% contact rate, but he is also limiting his competition to a 22.7% hard-hit percentage, another statistic under his career-average of 28.1%.

In simpler terms, one of the Tribe’s more recent free agent acquisitions is throwing more sliders, getting hitters to make less contact, forcing batters to swing at more pitches outside the strike zone and displaying an arsenal comparable to Miller and his overpowering off-speed.

While batters swing at an absurd 41.2% of Miller's pitches outside the strike zone, Logan pairs well with his new teammate and represents a valuable piece to a dominant relief unit. 

John Alfes has covered the Indians for IBI since August of 2016. Follow him on Twitter @JohnAlfes for breaking news and in-depth coverage all season long.

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