Re: Great game plan, guys
posted at 6/24/2013 1:09 PM EDT
In response to maxbialystock's comment:
In response to southpaw777's comment:
Thats why Salty had him throw a few FB in a row Max. How does that not make sense to do that? He was trying to get him to establish the FB. Everything works off of that pitch, but Webster still had some issues controlling it. Nobody said this kid was ready for the show. This is all part of a players development. He has a couple things to work on, but I wouldnt be too concerned with his MLB numbers this year. Its all part of the development process.
When opposing hitters know you are going to throw only fastballs in the strike zone, they can hit them, period, and that's exactly what happened.
And, as I said in the OP, as soon as he started throwing other pitches--slider and changeup--he started getting guys out, and that continued into the 5th inning, which means he faced everyone at least twice.
To me it was night and day. Throwing nothing but fastballs, he gave up 4 runs against 5 hitters while getting 1 out (Prince Fielder struck out). Throwing a mixture of fastballs and breaking balls against the same lineup, he gave up 1 run while getting 15 outs.
The same thing happens regularly with Lester--all he he wants to throw are the fastball and cutter.
The same thing doesn't happen to Doubront, who also has control issues, because he mixes in a pretty good curve and a pretty good changeup. Lackey also mixes his pitches, plus he has pretty good control--ditto Buchholz.
When Beckett arrived in 2006, he loved his 97 mph fastball. Problem was, so did opposing hitters, so his ERA was over 5 that year.
And let's not of course that memorable game of 2 or 3 years ago when Nava hit a Verlander 100 mpg fast ball on the nose and to the oppositive field. He hit it precisely because he knew it was coming.
If Webster is not ready for MLB, why in the heck is he pitching there?
I do not blame Salty because Nieves could change the game plan in an instant if he wanted to.
One other thing about the fastball. When that's all you throw, then you must consistently hit the corners and keep moving the location around, and very few pitchers can do that because you need the precision of a knife thrower. Except a knife thrower only throws about 15 feet vs. the 60' 6" in MLB, and he doesn't have to throw nearly as far. Hitting corners gets even harder when the umpire isn't givin you the corners.
Most people thing Felix Hernandez is the best in the game, and one reason for that is he mixes his pitches up. Same goes for Mr. 100 mph fastballer himself, Verlander--he mixes up his pitches.
I understand what happened. All Im saying is that its not out of the norm for a rookie pitcher up for a spot start to try and establish his FB right away. Sometimes that might take a few FB's in a row to get the feel and location. They changed it up accordingly, but its not much of a surprise that they (manager/coaches) wanted him to establish his FB right away.
Usually with a situation like this a game plan is already in place between the manager/coaches, catcher and young pitcher. I wouldnt lay it all on Salty.