Q. Why can he still pitch?
A. Millwood's cut fastball, and slider, are still effective, that's why. Blinkin' few 37-year-old pitchers can still snap off a cut fastball. This guy is made outta leather, or somethin'.
Why do you think Andrew Bailey went out as cheap as he did? 100 innings, and the man's cut fastball is lost in intergalactic space. Bailey's elbow was ruined after, like, 300 cut fastballs total. The guy is going to be closing on guts and guile. Hope the Boston writahs cut him some slack.
Q. Remind me again what a cutter is?
A. A slider is like 50% fastball and 50% curve. It comes in harder than a curve, but only breaks half as much.
Now, a cut fastball is thrown more like a slider than a fastball. It is 50% fastball and 50% slider. If a slider is at the 1/2 point between FB and CU, then a cutter is 3/4 towards the fastball from the curve.
Millwood's cutter comes in real hard -- still, at 37!? -- and bites five inches in on a LHB's hands.
His slider also has legit breaking action and he gets called third strikes, back door, to LHB's. This guy doesn't look 37. (He doesn't look 27, either, but we're talking Bridge (echo) Pitcher here.)
Q. He works off this cutter and slider?
A. He paints with the 89-91 fastball, really paints with it. Don't get me wrong: the run value on it in 2011 was -0.75 or so. He gave up a few runs.
But this video here -- mostly painted FB's, with a few changeups and sliders -- will give you a feel for his Fister-like approach.
This video here, from late 2010, shows you his 74 change curve and some cutters.
Millwood's an innings eater, throws five pitches to spots. Surprising giddyap on his pitches, still. The cutter and slider were his most effective pitches in late 2011. But notice how his run values have been all over the place in 2009-11 ... one year the changeup is great, but in another year it got smashed. His slider, in three years, returned values of +0.8, -2.0, and +0.0.
That's an innings eater. Millwood throws the kitchen sink, no one pitch really an ML impact pitch. But he is sharp with what he's got, has been a Glory Atlanta Brave, is not nervous on the mound, is glad to do battle with the Big Boys. Don't matter to him that Albert Pujols is up.