Monday, August 22, 2005

King Felix's 4th (Start that is)

Another masterpiece from "Young" Felix Hernandez. I wonder when Fairly will drop the "Young" from his name? When he is 30,40? More on Fairly in a minute.

Felix's Line 8 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 9 K's, 1 walk. Brilliant.

Like most of his starts, Felix threw a lot of fastballs early and it looked like a few of the Twins at least were waiting on them early. Shannon Stewart hit the second pitch he saw for a single and the next three batters all swung at the second pitch, foul balls each time.

Matthew LeCroy hit a second pitch fastball into center to score two and as is typical for Felix, he then struck out Jones on three pitches. "Young Hernandez" seems to recover from adversity well.

As the game went on he threw more curveballs and in the middle innings, that was his strike out pitch. In the 4th through 6th innings he stuck out 6. Almost all on curves or changes. Honestly I have trouble telling them apart.

In the 7th, with his pitch count getting up our phenom became a "pitch to contact" style pitcher, getting 5 straight ground ball outs before Joe Mauer lined out to Reed to end the 8th. All told he had 20 outs on either groundballs or K's, leaving just 4 fly outs in 8 innings of work. At the risk of repeating myself, Brilliant!

I would not have had him pitch the 8th, he had thrown 103 pitches at that point and those 12 pitches in the 8th seemed kind of unneeded. In the context of the game though it made sense, Felix was throwing better than anyone in the pen, and didn't look tired or show the loss of control that he did in the last inning of the KC start. As long as letting him throw 115 doesn't become a habit, I can live with it.

There are many things that bug me about Fairly, but one of the big ones is that he tends to put everything in terms of black and white. You "have to" move the runners over, you "have to" score 4 runs to win. In this case, in LeCroy's second at bat, he mentioned that Fatty had gotten a hit off a fastball, so he sure wouldn't throw him one of those again!

Well first of all, it was only a single! Its not like LeCroy hit it 500 feet. And if everytime a batter got a hit, the pitcher had to take that pitch out of his repetoire, the game would get pretty easy for the hitters! Of course you don't want to make the same mistake twice, but if the hitter is looking breaking ball, you would want to throw something else, even if he did hit your fastball into the parking lot. SHUT. UP. RON!

Luckily Felix is smarter than Ron as he threw LeCroy 4 fastballs in 5 pitches to strike him out.

Next Start is Friday the 26th against the White Sox, if you haven't him pitch yet, get yourself out to the Safe! Go! Now!


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