May 17, 2006
May 17th vs. The Rangers
To be honest, one of the things that I always loved about Andy Pettitte, whether he was pitching well or not, was that he was a pick-off freak. By this, I mean, he was the best in baseball in terms of owning a lethal move to first.
There's just something about that for me - when a guy has an element of his game where he is "The Best" and he can do "it" at any time (and no one can prevent it). I really dig juggernaut skills.
In his prime, Rickey Henderson had this too - he was going to steal when he felt like it - and he knew, they knew, we all knew that they could not stop him.
Chien-Ming Wang is now there for me as well - because he is an absolute ground-ball freak. I love to watch him pitch just to see all those grounders. I'm not sure if the stats point to someone else - and I really don't care, to be honest - because my eyes tell me and my heart believes it - there's no one better in the game now at getting ground-ball after ground-ball.
And, no one can stop him.
Mr. Wang-der-full, the Grounder King, having it his way. Long live the king!
Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 17, 2006 10:37 PM
What's amazing is that those ground balls have been almost always playable. And when a runner does get on a double play is a near certainty. They turned 3 more tonight, and should've had a 4th. Maybe it's me but it seems like the infield picks up their game when he's on the mound (the 3 errors notwithstanding, and really only one of those was a flubbed ground ball.) Maybe since they know a ground ball is coming they're more focused?
Posted by: Jen at May 18, 2006 12:49 AM
The only guy in the AL with comparable Ground ball ability is Doc Halladay.. in fact, if Wang can get his strike out ability up a little bit more (he's clooose.. just need to get some of the breaking stuff to break a bit more and his strike out rate will go up quick) then he is almost a mirror copy of the 03 Cy Young winner with a even better slug against ability, that's a great comparason to have ;)
I also like his low pitch counts. He's not afraid of the hitter putting the bat on the ball, and if he does get tagged, he seems to be able to put it behind him immediately and focus on the next pitch.
Good call on Halladay - he & Wang now rang #1 & 2 in groundball % in the AL.
Posted by: James Varghese at May 18, 2006 09:08 AM