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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:07 am 
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great win :P


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 9:31 am 
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It was a great game last night. I tell you what, tonight is huge. I say that because we really need Karstens to last at least six innings. The Pirates have really used up their bullpen. I was hoping Veal would have come out and thrown the 9th inning but Capps was already warm. Only Burnett, Meek, and Veal are the fully rested guys now.

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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:18 am 
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You have Burnett and Meek, which is fine for a game. Especially Meek.

He looked great on Sunday, and the last couple times I saw him. Seems to have really grabbed control of his breaking stuff for K's.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 10:58 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Wilson's play was amazing. To get to the ball was remarkable. To make a throw all the way to first base vicinity on the fly on that ball amazing. To get to the ball, pop up and rifle it to first, dead center to Laroche, was unbelievable.


That ESPN picked the Ray's RFer (don't know his name) as Web Gem #2 and Braun's diving catch as Web Gem #1 fails to recognize each of those points. Both OF catches were great plays but did not involve anything beyond getting to the ball. Jack not only got to the ball but spun around, jumped and threw strongly from short left field on the fly and hit LaRoche in the numbers. Amazing.

ESPN is probably tired of having to show Jack and Freddy #1 on what appears to be a near nightly basis.

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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:15 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Capps ... still struggling a bit. He was spraying the ball around. He threws some nasty pitches later in the inning, and his fastball on the inside corner to the last batter was strike 3. The baseball gods were angry for the umpire not calling strike 3 and took it out on the batter, who hammered a foul ball off his shin.


On the broadcast last night, Walk was lamenting Capps' lack of control and commented on the fact that Capps is not the same pitcher as he was a couple of years ago when he could throw his fastball just about anywhere in the strike zone with seemingly pinpoint control. Then Walk commented about the fact that "maybe the league has caught up to Capps and made adjustments and that Capps is struggling to make the counter adjustments." He also commented on the apparent need for Capps to be able to get hitters out with the slider and how he cannot rely on the fastball and his control.

Which got me thinking a bit . . . even when Capps was throwing bullets for strike upon strike upon strike, I once commented (as did others) that the downside to Capps was the lack of movement on his fastball. Even when things were going well, his fastball was awfully straight. When watching him now, he has a lot of movement on his fastball. I don't think that I've seen him throw a laser straight fastball all year. Last night, he threw some fastballs with some serious tail and a couple which tailed slightly. I'm thinking that Kerrigan has him alternating between a two seam and a four seam along with working in the slider and the changeup that he worked on in the Spring. I'm also thinking that Capps hasn't quite mastered the pitches and I imagine that it may be more than a bit frustrating for him to not have the pinpoint control as before. Although he struggled with Johnson, Zimmerman, Dunn and Willingham, (Zimmerman and Dunn's outs were hit hard), his pitch sequence with Willie Harris was very good. His sliders had good sideways and downward bite and were downright nasty. His fastballs were located well and his change up was barely fouled off. You have to keep in mind that, with a six run lead, you want him to come in and throw strikes. I'm sure that Willingham had a great idea that Capps was coming in with a first pitch fastball and sat on it. I'm also thinking that Kerrigan wanted Capps in the game last night even with a 6 run lead to get Capps time on the mound and to continue working on his pitches. Just my speculation . . . .

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:52 am 
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No. 9 wrote:
Which got me thinking a bit . . . even when Capps was throwing bullets for strike upon strike upon strike, I once commented (as did others) that the downside to Capps was the lack of movement on his fastball. Even when things were going well, his fastball was awfully straight.


I was always one remarking about how straight his fastball was, and I'll go a step further. Even when he was having success, there were always a TON of deep fly balls hit off of him. I don't have stats to back that up, but it always seemed that hitters were >thisclose< to going yard. However, if he was coming in with a 3 run lead, you could tolerate that, as long as he wasn't putting people on. I hope Bob Walk and No. 9 are right that this might just be growing pains as Capps learns to mix other pitches in.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 11:58 am 
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Rob Nen was flat and effective. Bob Moose was flat and effective. As were a number of others.

While I like movement and Capps' adjusting his approach by adding movement and offspeed, you can use pin point placement, if you have it, to offset movement as long as you move the locations around.

ZM

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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:26 pm 
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For what it is worth, I just checked Gameday on MLB.com and they report that Capps was throwing nothing but 4 seam fastballs. I don't know how accurate that is . . . just adding it to the mix.

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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 12:44 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
For what it is worth, I just checked Gameday on MLB.com and they report that Capps was throwing nothing but 4 seam fastballs. I don't know how accurate that is . . . just adding it to the mix.


John Wehner was commenting on the radio how he was bouncing a lot of fastballs in the dirt lastnight, more than he's ever seen him do in his career...Could it possibly be he's working a 2 seam or a sinker in there now too?

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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:00 pm 
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nad69dan wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
For what it is worth, I just checked Gameday on MLB.com and they report that Capps was throwing nothing but 4 seam fastballs. I don't know how accurate that is . . . just adding it to the mix.


John Wehner was commenting on the radio how he was bouncing a lot of fastballs in the dirt lastnight, more than he's ever seen him do in his career...Could it possibly be he's working a 2 seam or a sinker in there now too?


My speculation is that he is throwing a 2 seamer to get movement and he is having trouble controlling it. Almost as if he is steering it. That usually happens when a pitcher has little confidence in where the ball is going. But again . . . just my speculation.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:20 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
For what it is worth, I just checked Gameday on MLB.com and they report that Capps was throwing nothing but 4 seam fastballs. I don't know how accurate that is . . . just adding it to the mix.

Capps does indeed feature the 4-seam. He throws it at 92-93 mph. He was throwing it at 95 mph in 2007. The difference in outcome is apparent, IMO.

But if Capps can mix in a good slider and/or change, and locate those three pitches, he will get outs. He just cannot get by on one pitch (a 92 mph 4-seam, straight fastball) any more, unless he has absolutely impeccable control.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 1:23 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
For what it is worth, I just checked Gameday on MLB.com and they report that Capps was throwing nothing but 4 seam fastballs. I don't know how accurate that is . . . just adding it to the mix.

Anyone know how Gameday determines the pitch type? Does it start with a pitcher's know repertoire and then use data such as the speed and break to match each pitch to one of the types that the guy is known to throw? If so, it may not be programmed to account for a new type of pitch that a pitcher is trying to work into his routine.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 3:06 pm 
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Did anyone else catch Walkie's comment about how he doesn't know why anyone would want to throw a 4 seam fastball when they can throw a 2 seamer? I always thought there was a place in the game for both since you can generally count on more velocity on the 4 seamer, but who am I to question Bob Walk? Maybe that's the prevailing philosophy now under the Kerrigan administration.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:25 pm 
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I am with Walk the whole way. To have a pitch with movement would seem to me to have an advantage over a pitch with slightly more velocity but no movement. I tried to get every pitcher I ever coached to espouse the two seamer with lukewarm results. No. 1 is going to work on one this summer and fall. At least so he says. I think more weapons, more advantage pitcher. It is a bit tougher to command though. And it is a pitch that you don't have to learn a new grip or motion to throw.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Tue May 19, 2009 5:33 pm 
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Have to have the four seamer for up and in, extra velocity, and right down the middle when batter is in a take count, such as 3-0.


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 Post subject: Re: May 18, 2009 Pirates (16-21) at Nationals (11-25)
PostPosted: Wed May 20, 2009 12:18 am 
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Az Bucco fan wrote:
I am with Walk the whole way. To have a pitch with movement would seem to me to have an advantage over a pitch with slightly more velocity but no movement. I tried to get every pitcher I ever coached to espouse the two seamer with lukewarm results. No. 1 is going to work on one this summer and fall. At least so he says. I think more weapons, more advantage pitcher. It is a bit tougher to command though. And it is a pitch that you don't have to learn a new grip or motion to throw.

Agree with all points and you are 100% correct about the advantages and difficulties of the two-seam. The 4-seam is generally the 3-0 pitch. Can be located pretty well. Son now goes 2-seam on 90% of fastballs. The only exception is the letter-high fastball, or the dreaded 3-0 pitch. Pirate pitchers are throwing a vast majority of fastballs as 2-seamers.


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