Purcey Finds a Break
Welcome to the Rod Barajas school on how to calm down your mercurial lefty in his first home start of the year: call nothing but fastballs! After 49 pitches tonight, Purcey had thrown 4 curveballs, 0 sliders, and 45 fastballs — and held Detroit to 2 hits and 2 walks in the process.
In the fifth inning it was looking like Purcey might never attempt another breaking pitch again. Not only had he thrown 14 fastballs in a row, but his last two curves were hit by Inge for a double and then the sacrifice fly by Granderson that scored the run.
Then he discovered his slider against Gerald Laird, and didn’t let go, throwing 4 of them in a row to strike out Ordonez later in that inning and 11 of them compared to 20 (pitch f/x missed a bunch) fastballs over the rest of the game. He also got four swinging strikes against his slider, as compared to one total over the first half of the game.
Nice little adjustment by Purcey, but obviously he’s still a work in progress (and I’m talking about his breaking pitches, not his fielding and intentional walking ability…)