Fastballs, high and tight. Fastballs, high and tight. Fastballs, high and tight. Then if that fails, more fastballs high and tight. The book on Aubrey Huff has been out so long that even Aubrey Huff has read it.
Now the Orioles slugger has torn out that page about him not being able to get around on high inside heat, taking the formerly sure-fire out pitch away from opposing pitchers and enabling himself to hit at a .500 clip over his last 34 at-bats, including a 4-5 outing Tuesday in which he doubled and hit the decisive blow with a homer off Mariano Rivera in a 7-6 victory over the Yankees.
This is much more than a veteran slugger hitting mistakes, make no mistake about it. Huff has raised his average beyond the .300 threshold and is on a pace to hit a career high 40 homers for the season.
It appears as though Huff has opened his stance slightly to get around on those formerly true fastballs up near the numbers, then sit on them, thus forcing the League to rummage around for something else from their bag of tricks -- so far to no avail. Until they figure something out, look for Huff to continue to take full advantage.