Doc Odds and Ends
First, from two starts ago, Dougie B demands:
Doc appears to be going to the cutter a lot more than usual today. I’m not one to make demands or anything, but is there any chance you could take a look at that with some experienced pitch f/x eyes?
I’m mostly curious because they kept showing him talking to Mariano Rivera during the all-star game, and perhaps he has thereby improved his cutter. That’d be neat.
I don’t think there was much difference in quantity, but the Doc’s cutter did look different in his last game. Here’s the movement on just the cut fastballs he threw on his last start and the one before that. You can see it’s moving sideways about 3 inches more and dropping less:
All of Halladay’s pitches were sinking less (and less consistent) during his start against the Rays, but it’s possible that Halladay is tinkering with something that he and Rivera discussed. Mariano’s cutter is possibly (I’m open to suggestions, never seen one) the only cutter that rises about as much as a normal fastball but cuts straight sideways (probably why he gets away with throwing every single pitch). Most cutters are more like Litsch’s main pitch, which cut and sink about half as much as a normal slider.
It’ll take a few more starts to see if this was a real change or just a day-to-day thing, but the Doc’s cutter was closer to the pitch that Mo’ throws than Litsch. Probably a good thing in the long run…
Also from that game, I seem to recall that Brad Arnsberg went out in the 6th to talk to the doc and then stayed on the mound to say several things to the ump, who probably tossed him. Most of the hitters who complain seem to get it right, so how’s the view from the dugout?
Well, as I’ve mentioned before, ruthlessly fair is probably not what the Doc or any other Cy Young winner would expect, but even in the terminal 6th inning (circled), no calls that were particularly offensive.