The 2-seamed fastball, aka “sinker”, isn’t as sexy as it’s flat, 4-seamed brother but they are just as, if not more, effective.
The 4-seamer is a pitch of power, a pitch that challenges hitters, if you’ve got a good one, you use it and you don’t care if they know it’s coming, ala Curt Schilling in the beginning of this century. He’d stand up there and would basically tip the hitter as he would his catcher during pre-inning warmups. Here it is meat, hit it if you can……
A good hard 2-seamer can sometimes look like one of those seen on Intellivision Baseball, moving everywhere, hard to control. Although not as “manly” as the 4-seamer, it is deadlier because the pitch bores in and down on hitters only allowing the batter to beat the ball in the ground. (Righty vs. Righty or Lefty vs. Lefty)
If you play in Texas, and want to be successful, a sinker is a must. Thanks to the jet stream at the Ballpark you can fart on one and put it in the seats.
Ground balls aren’t cooler than Strikeouts, but they’re more economical and keep the team in the game. The more ground balls the better chance for a double play.
The Rangers’ starting rotation is heavy on sinker-ball pitchers.
Crazy Eyes Padilla has a nasty, nasty 4-seamer and an even nastier sinker. If Padilla used it more and stopped relying on his offspeed stuff he would be more effective and more economical with his pitch count, getting further into games and resting the bullpen.
Lefty Kason Gabbard, the guy with the batting helmet lodged between his vertebrae, is a guy I love, he is the typical “crafty” leftie, but he isn’t a thumber. He will come at righties and put fastballs right under their fists. His sinker is good, not overpowering, but when located the way he knows how it is devastating. I worry about his toughness, especially after the Sexson tussle his injury was listed as, “Bruised Knees” in some media outlets.
Scott Feldman, you know the guy that threw laredo-style last year. Well, Mark Conner worked with him moving him into a 3/4 arm slot. The results have been good thus far, take out his early season work out of the bullpen and he’s got some great numbers. This guy’s sinker is crazy, it is hard for him to control at times. If you look at his numbers from the windup vs. the stretch there is no doubt that he needs to move to the stretch exclusively. It quiets his body and allows him to corral that wicked 2-seamer.
Sir Sidney Ponson, who is 2-0 in 3 starts with a 1.33 ERA, has a great sinker and hopefully can keep this up. This is no doubt his last shot in the bigleagues and he knows it. He works fast and he uses his sinker almost exclusively, more importantly he’s keeping that sinker down where it needs to be. Ponson was suprised after learning that he received a fine after the Rangers – Mariners fracas. Below is from Dallas Morning News blog:
“Ponson said he was fined for “being too aggressive” while tangling with Ranger-plunking Mariners pitcher Felix Hernandez. Ponson said he simply challenged Hernandez to punch him if he wanted to take a shot at somebody.
Ponson declined to say how much he was fined (UPDATE: $500), but he vowed to get his money’s worth the next time the benches clear.
“The next time I get off the bench I will whip somebody’s ***,” said Ponson, who let a much worse word fly a few times during his chat with the media in the Rangers’ clubhouse.””
I love this guy!!!
Okay, so I’m not expecting anything here. But, it is fun to watch a team pitch and play good D. This is all I ever wanted from this club, was to play like pros and rebuild for a better future.
Next Up: Bradon Boggs