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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:32 am 
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palushock wrote:
What i liked about Duke's performance was his pitch location.

I , among others, have labled him as the highest paid batting practice pitcher in the majors.

Now, it seems he is not Tossing it right down the middle, no matter what the count is to the batter.

I saw Houston chasing alot of outside and low pitches.

Even if they got lucky , and made contact with some of them, the chances of the ball not going to a fielder has a very low %.

He also seems to have a lot more bite on his breaking stuff, and his fastball, becomes sneaky fast, when he can get swings and misses on those OUT pitches.


Good observations. The one thing I'd add is that he seems to be a lot more unpredictable in terms of location. Sometimes it's intentional, others it's not. He threw quite a few breaking balls in the dirt a few feet in front of the plate, only to follow them up with a really good change or fastball. Hitters seem to be more off balance against him this year. He had Berkman totally confused to the point where it was funny.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:57 am 
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Piratefan13 wrote:
Was it my imagination, but did he look stronger in the 9th? I saw a few of the FB's around 91mph while the entire game he was around 87-89.


The last thing a pitcher wants is when you have made it through 8 innings is to be pulled in the 9th. Alot of times you see pitchers at their best when they are going for a complete game in the 9th.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:05 am 
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Argentum wrote:
palushock wrote:
What i liked about Duke's performance was his pitch location.

I , among others, have labled him as the highest paid batting practice pitcher in the majors.

Now, it seems he is not Tossing it right down the middle, no matter what the count is to the batter.

I saw Houston chasing alot of outside and low pitches.

Even if they got lucky , and made contact with some of them, the chances of the ball not going to a fielder has a very low %.

He also seems to have a lot more bite on his breaking stuff, and his fastball, becomes sneaky fast, when he can get swings and misses on those OUT pitches.


Good observations. The one thing I'd add is that he seems to be a lot more unpredictable in terms of location. Sometimes it's intentional, others it's not. He threw quite a few breaking balls in the dirt a few feet in front of the plate, only to follow them up with a really good change or fastball. Hitters seem to be more off balance against him this year. He had Berkman totally confused to the point where it was funny.


As of the 4th inning or so, I believe that Duke had yet to record a fly out. Everything was either a ground ball or a strikeout, save for the fly that Nate dropped when crashing into the wall. This is how Duke will be successful- inducing ground balls. It also emphasizes how important defense is to his game.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 10:38 am 
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What I find encouraging is the number of swinging strikes. I think his fastball velocity is up a little bit...he hit 91 a couple of times, but the biggest diffeence is the "tightness" and late break on his breaking pitch...it looks much harder to identify than it did last year. He will always pitch to contact, as BBF indicated, but the batters weren't squaring him up nearly as much, which has been the case all spring and into his first two starts.

Perhaps the signing of Kerrigan WAS the best free-agent signing of the year.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:24 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
It seemed like he was going inside about 50% of the time, outside about 30%, and low about 20%. He is keeping the ball down and out of the middle of the strike zone. You can't throw more accurate pitches than that!


He threw inside quite a bit, Colin. From what I saw, he hit the inside corner about 25 times in 119 pitches, so a little more than 20%. (That is a lot.)

And as another poster noted, he was pounding the inside corner in the 9th. It was very good to see Doumit moving to the inside corner time and time again.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:26 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Colin21 wrote:
It seemed like he was going inside about 50% of the time, outside about 30%, and low about 20%. He is keeping the ball down and out of the middle of the strike zone. You can't throw more accurate pitches than that!


He threw inside quite a bit, Colin. From what I saw, he hit the inside corner about 25 times in 119 pitches, so a little more than 20%. (That is a lot.)

And as another poster noted, he was pounding the inside corner in the 9th. It was very good to see Doumit moving to the inside corner time and time again.


I just hope hitters don't adjust to how he is throwing now and start knocking him around again.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:28 pm 
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BBF wrote:
As of the 4th inning or so, I believe that Duke had yet to record a fly out. Everything was either a ground ball or a strikeout, save for the fly that Nate dropped when crashing into the wall. This is how Duke will be successful- inducing ground balls. It also emphasizes how important defense is to his game.

Absolutely. Pirates infield defense has been solid this year. Wilson is money at SS on defense. Grounders to SS cause me no concern at all. Sanchez is very sure-handed. Not great range, but he handles everything he should and turns them into outs.

Additionally, Duke pitched a complete game, without any double plays behind him. Two reasons for that: He gave up very few base runners, and the runners he permitted were almost always with two outs. No need to turn 2.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:31 pm 
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Quote:
Pirates infield defense has been solid this year


Everybody except for Andy so far. Even the back ups have been good on defense. I love seeing good defense at the games i attend.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:35 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
I just hope hitters don't adjust to how he is throwing now and start knocking him around again.

He has been in the league for five seasons. The league adjusted to him and began hitting him very hard. Duke has adjusted by coming inside more often.

It is damn near impossible for a hitter to cover both the inside and outside corners. Hitters will still sit on the outside corner against Duke, due to his two-seam fastball. That pitch is spotted on the outside corner against righties, and teams are going to stack the line-up against Duke with righties since lefties struggle against him.

But by throwing a good change-up, mixing in the curve (different velocity and break), and challenging hitters on the inside corner 25-30 times per game, Duke is not giving hitters a pattern to his pitching. So, let them sit on the two-seamer on the outside corner. They will look up in the 6th inning, realizing they have 1 run and have broken a half dozen bats.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Colin21 wrote:
I just hope hitters don't adjust to how he is throwing now and start knocking him around again.

He has been in the league for five seasons. The league adjusted to him and began hitting him very hard. Duke has adjusted by coming inside more often.

It is damn near impossible for a hitter to cover both the inside and outside corners. Hitters will still sit on the outside corner against Duke, due to his two-seam fastball. That pitch is spotted on the outside corner against righties, and teams are going to stack the line-up against Duke with righties since lefties struggle against him.

But by throwing a good change-up, mixing in the curve (different velocity and break), and challenging hitters on the inside corner 25-30 times per game, Duke is not giving hitters a pattern to his pitching. So, let them sit on the two-seamer on the outside corner. They will look up in the 6th inning, realizing they have 1 run and have broken a half dozen bats.


I would like to see him develop a good strike out pitch, because even though he is getting grounders which is very good, he will end up having some bad starts just trying to get ground ball outs.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:34 pm 
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Colin he had like 7 k's dude. All the pitches you guys talk about are needed but his sinker is back with the other pitches and it is his out pitch--- strike out or ground ball.

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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Tue Apr 14, 2009 9:50 pm 
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Colin21 wrote:
I would like to see him develop a good strike out pitch, because even though he is getting grounders which is very good, he will end up having some bad starts just trying to get ground ball outs.


He has 9 K's in 15 1/3 innings, which works out to 5.28 K's per 9 innings. That is adequate for a pitcher who features the 2-seam. If he finishes the year at that rate, he will have a very good season.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:21 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Colin21 wrote:
I would like to see him develop a good strike out pitch, because even though he is getting grounders which is very good, he will end up having some bad starts just trying to get ground ball outs.


He has 9 K's in 15 1/3 innings, which works out to 5.28 K's per 9 innings. That is adequate for a pitcher who features the 2-seam. If he finishes the year at that rate, he will have a very good season.


Hmm i didn't realize he was at 5.28 K's per 9. Thats pretty good. He first outting he only had 2 and that is what i was focusing on, because he isn't going to pitch a complete game everytime.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:36 am 
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I think it's safe to say Kerrigan has finally fixed what Colborn and Andrews were unable to.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 3:24 am 
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Colin21 wrote:
Hmm i didn't realize he was at 5.28 K's per 9. Thats pretty good. He first outting he only had 2 ...

He had 4 in the first outing in 6 1/3 innings, and 5 his last outing.


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 Post subject: Re: April 13, 2009 Astros at Pirates...PNC Park Opening Day!
PostPosted: Wed Apr 15, 2009 4:15 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Colin21 wrote:
Hmm i didn't realize he was at 5.28 K's per 9. Thats pretty good. He first outting he only had 2 ...

He had 4 in the first outing in 6 1/3 innings, and 5 his last outing.


There is go again believing Substitute2's inacurate stats. :lol:


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