Thank goodness Dipoto has stockpiled upper level SP's this winter. In the event we roll snake eyes on Felix + Iwakuma + Gallardo there are enough arms we still might be able to keep afloat in the playoff race. We have half a dozen guys lined up that could compete in Safeco from Day 1. Might even be better off if we have to resort to some young, fresh arms filling in for the inevitable injury or two.
Objectively speaking, Chris Heston was 12-11, 3.95 in the National League two years ago. Objectively speaking, on Friday he was throwing a remarkable swerveball -- 89 MPH but an armside runnnn as though he gouged a huge piece out of the ball on the 3B side and then threw it with perfect backspin. Objectively speaking, Chris Heston has always had a very high groundball rate despite a lack of much downward movement on his pitches.
But what the Mainframe loved, loved, loved, was the "finish" on his pitches. Heston is a Tim Hudson fanboy and he threw every pitch as if WILLING it to its correct location at the bottomside of the hitter's bat. At times he fairly jumped up and down on the mound with the 'elan he was trying to get on his fingersnap.
Here, these three pitches aren't even the best ones ... some of those, dude, the "body English" he put on the ball made you crack a big grin. But check pitches #2 and #3 on this video. The garbage swings aren't so much the dive on the changeups as it is the armside fade. Here's the movement chart:
So the fastball was a Tim Hudson wannabe thingamajigger -- granted, the umps are cracking down on super-low pitches but a Heston type will still get some buy-in. The cambio -- today -- was Plus-Plus and had the whiffs to show for it. Also Heston threw plenty of 75-79 overhand breaking pitches and they had nice late bite.
ANOTHER pitcher for whom Dr. D must assert --- > throw those same pitches in May and the result is a likely W.
Wink, smile, refer you over to Arsenal Mania. You know how we Denizens geek about about little stuff like the hop on Chris Heston's finish when he puts body english on the ball? LOL. Other baseball blogs roll their eyes at that, justly so ... in English football it seems like every one of those mates is that kinda geek. Two thousand Arsenal 'net rats and every blinkin' one of 'em is a jemanji or a g-moneyball. Spare us all!
It's awesome to read. Here, speaking baseball as your second language makes you a blogger. There, speaking 'football' as your first language ... it makes you a North Londoner. They ALL do it. Way of life for them, what. Here, if you're on Hardball Times or something, you're kind of proud and sheepish at the same time. There, it's what you do while you tip a pint.
That's the in-joke on our Man of the Match shtick. And that's why we buried it here :- )
Max Povse looked ready to win 10+ in the big leagues. Y' unnerstan' that's a two-inning impression. But what he had those two innings would be All. He'd. Need.
Ariel Miranda, as a reliever, if you could get him to pitch juussssstttt like he did? 95 fastballs up and down the zone, centered, plenty of plate, breaking pitch with two strikes? Could see a Matt Thorntonish year for him right NOW. He looked -interesting- as a starter I guess but that guy out of the 'pen the other day, that guy was a factor.
Those are the three twirlers who have caught the eye early on - Miranda as RP, Heston as SP, Povse as SP, in that order. Iwakuma looked ahead of schedule. Paxton has seismos even beyond the Zeus shtick. Jonah Keri, a classic Baseball Prospectus author, says Dipoto has a situation where he will "bring guys at you in waves." Right now it's lookin' that way, yeah.