|Anything goes: I love pitchers|
Written by Adam Adkins (Contact & Archive) on May 02, 2009
Phil Hughes versus Detroit:
The Hughes of oldâ€”or perhaps of fableâ€”showed up to Comerica Park.Â A straight four-seam fastball that sat around 92 and occasionally touched 94, excellent command of the pitch on both sides of the plate, Hughes showed no fear in throwing it in any count against any batter.Â That is good, shows confidence.Â YES spoke of Hughes developing a cutter, and after some discussion with an expert, we concurred that the pitch was more of a two-seam fastball, usually sitting in the high 80s.Â The real key for Hughes will be command of his curveball, which was spotty at best, but had consistently excellent movement.
Tim Lincecum versus Los Angeles:
What can you say about The Freak that hasnâ€™t been said?Â Lincecum has an excellent fastball, sitting 96-98 that explodes at the end, making driving the pitch really difficult to do.Â From what I saw, the Dodgersâ€”aside from Manny, who wasnâ€™t totally overmatchedâ€”had no chance to hit the fastball.Â Most of the time, they floundered and fouled off the pitch, and then were just creamed by his power curve, which breaks so late itâ€™s basically a splitter.Â His stuff is unreal, folks.
Felix Hernandez versus Chicago White Sox:
If Lincecum has unreal stuff, what do we call Felix?Â Take Lincecumâ€™s velocity and add heaviness to it, meaning he essentially throws a 95 MPH two seam fastball that often touches 97.Â The King threw a filthy change up that probably doesnâ€™t look like a fastball out of the hand, but moves so far from right to left that itâ€™s a moot point.Â His breaking pitches, a tilting slider and a sharp 12-6 curve, were both on and both essentially unhittable.Â Heâ€™s been around forever, it seems, but Felix is only 22, and seemingly ready for his crown.
Joba Chamberlain versus Detroit:
Justin Verlander versus New York:
Where the hell has this version of Verlander been?Â We missed you!Â Donâ€™t hide anymore!Â Unbelievable stuff, he dominatedâ€”I mean really kicked the crap out ofâ€”the Yankees.Â Usually starting off an AB with a 97 MPH fastball will do that.Â He kept the Yanks off balance all night, working his curveball and change up in to get outs, while pounding and pounding his fastball.Â He got swings and misses on everything.Â For Verlander, it is about consistency, but if this start was any indication, he could just be dynamite.
CC Sabathia versus Detroit:
The big guy was good; let no one tell you differently.Â He made two mistakes, one of them turned into a three run homer by Magglio Ordonez.Â But from a stuff perspective, it was the best Iâ€™ve seen from him as a Yankee.Â His fastball was working, good velocity and command all over the plate with it, almost surgically.Â His slider was dynamite, better than any of Verlanderâ€™s offerings, even.Â He sets up right handers with fastballs on the outside corner and then buries that slider down and in, and itâ€™s unhittable.Â His curve/change was not as crispâ€”that was the home run pitch, a hanging curve that missed the outside cornerâ€”but it was promising.
Zack Greinke versus Toronto:
You wonâ€™t notice him, but you should.Â Greinke is a dynamite young pitcher, showing fantastic command with very good velocity and a breaking ball that is Lincecumâ€™s territory.Â Sits around 94, throws a really nice change up that might be his best pitchâ€”scaryâ€”and has his power curve, that replaced the 50 MPH slow-slow-slow curve he threw years ago before his depression.Â If you ever wanted a kid to root for, on a team to root for, itâ€™s Greinke.Â Excellent kid, excellent pitcher.Â If you felt dumb for not knowing Lincecum before his Cy Young win, make sure to catch Greinke now, you will not regret it.
Edinson Volquez versus Houston:
Iâ€™ve never been enamored with Volquez, if nothing more than because he seems to lack a bonafided breaking pitch, but he looked good Wednesday, throwing his fastball all over the plate with command and movement, keeping the Astros off balance the whole time.Â He has good stuff, and he showcases a really pretty change up at times, but I need some consistency before you enter acehood.Â Fun, emotional pitcher, seems to enjoy the game.