Ok, I think it’s time to accept I might have a pitch f/x problem. While out and about, the very glimpse of SAVE – RYAN on the ticker of an ESPN channel evidently devoted 24/7 to Yankees/Sox highlights, and I started wondering out loud to La Senorita if B.J.’s velocity had completely returned. Fortunately, she responded that if I was just going to think about baseball all night, I may as well go back to the damn hotel right now. It’s good to have someone who understands what you do.
Anyway, here’s a quick look at what the Beej has at this point.
His fastball is at 88-89. Still about three mph short of the 91-92 he normally sits at.
Those circles are the movement his pitches normally have. Incidentally- did you ever think of Ryan as having a killer cutter? Because that kind of rising/cutting (as opposed to Jesse Litsch’s that looks more like a slider) pitch is exceedingly rare- in fact, I can’t think of anyone other than Mariano Rivera who throws a pitch that moves like that. It would explain how he can get righties out, by cutting it in on their hands (just look at Accardo to see how ineffective a slider is when sliding in towards the batter).
Other than that, his fastball is there, but all over the place. He overthrew his first pitch of the game (no doubt incredibly geeked up) and it sailed and was clubbed for a triple. Then he got a grounder on an incredibly weak-ass slider, a pop up on a cutter, and a line out that landed in the mitt of Alex Rios.
Beej has always been more of a control guy than a power closer, and here we see why. The first two outs he got with a man on third were on pitches that started as strikes and then dove in on the hands. Is there a better way to do it? The final pitch of the game was a bit of a meatball- I’m going to guess it was smashed right at Rios.
Anyway, this is way too much dissection of 10 pitches already, but it looks like B.J. is still finding his slider, but has enough of a fastball and cutter to saw bats off with his usual control. He’s not quite the guy he used to be, but then neither is Accardo…