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May 16, 2006

Farnsworth Says...........

When two tribes go to war,
a point is all you can score.
When two tribes go to war,
a point is all you can score

Tribe No. 1:

You should never get beat with your second best pitch. If you can throw 98-99-100 then you should stick to the fastball and not toy with the slider. There are more hits allowed on bad sliders than fastballs. There's no need to help a batter speed up his bat on a pitch with the speed of the slider.

Tribe No. 2:

If there's one thing that hitters in the majors can do, it's hit a fastball. It's what got them to the big leagues. At this level, no matter how hard you throw, hitters can catch up to it. If all you do is pump gas, the batters will sit on the heater. You need a second pitch to keep the hitters honest and to mix up your pattern. Ideally, you need something that looks like the fastball but will either break and/or change speeds.

How many times have you heard both of the above sermons?

Ah, the dichotomy of fastball philosophy.....

This is why a guy like Kyle Farnsworth (and now Scott Proctor) will always be in a no-win situation with the fans and media. People always want to have it both ways for them - but not for others. It's unfair.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 16, 2006 10:31 AM


I'd like to think that the fans and media don't influence the way these guys pitch.

I see no problem throwing a slider, I do have a problem when people get too "slider happy." Get ahead with the hard stuff, get 'em out with the breaking stuff.

Master the ability to change speeds and locations, and you'll be able to have a nice career in MLB.

Posted by: Raf [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 16, 2006 11:17 AM

I just wanted to thank you for linking me to your site. =)

Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 16, 2006 11:21 AM

My pleasure Jete.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 16, 2006 11:43 AM

Raf is right. You need more than one pitch but you stay in the majors by knowing how to set up hitters for "your second best pitch." It's easy to fault Posada or the pitching coach for bad pitch selection (and many times this is true) but ultimately a pitcher has to learn how to pitch by himself and for himself. Was David Cone successful because Joe Girardi put down better signs than Mike Stanley or Jorge? I have a feeling Coney would have known what to throw without a Girardi behind the plate. Hate to reference Kaat (though I love the guy)but he's right...there's a "feel" for pitching that the great and good ones possess. You can't do it by the numbers (5 curves, 3 changeups, 1 slider, etc.). Kaat always quotes Robin Roberts: "Tell me the score, the batter, and the count and I'll tell you what I'd throw."

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at May 16, 2006 01:24 PM