Old Doc, New Tricks
Halladay’s movement from opening night was pretty standard: lots of sinkers and cutters, and his big curveball. But his cutters were so all over the place, it almost looks like he’s throwing two distinct types of them – one that drops about as much as his normal fastball, and one that just cuts straight sideways (which are rarer around the league – think Mariano Rivera’s, as opposed to the sort of sloppy sliders from Jesse Litsch that get called cutters).
Wouldn’t you know it, focusing on the location of just Halladay’s cut fastballs, he threw the rising cutter over the plate every single time, but tried to get guys fishing out of the zone after the cutters that dove as well. Nothing consistent, but Halladay somewhat favoured the rising fastball to weaker hitters like Inge and Everett (throwing them 9 of his 15 rising cutters).
It should be interesting to see if Roy keeps using two cutters and strictly like this – it’s not something that was noticable last sesaon. I threw in Inge’s home run in there too, which came against one of the relatively few cutters Roy left over the plate, after he had fed him the rising variety (and struck him out with three of them his first trip to the plate) all night.