Emergence of the Cutter Shifts Power from Hitters to Pitchers in MLB


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The cutter. A game saver, reviver, the magical pitch which can change a pitcher’s career. The pitch where home runs become strikeouts.
.Mariano Rivera isn’t the only one. How about 2010 Cy Young Roy Halladay? Or Josh Beckett’s recent dominance after suffering an injury-riddled 2010.
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The White Sox John Danks, who had started the season with zero wins, has found his pitch. The pitch he introduced in 2008 and stopped since then. Now he started using it again, and since then, he is more dominant than he ever was.
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The future Hall of Famer Mariano Rivera created the cut fastball and revolutionized baseball. Since the late ’90s, a myriad of hitters have approached the Yankees closer with looks of despair.

When hitters stepped up to the plate and laid their eyes on the sandman standing on the mound, they thought to themselves, “oh no, not this guy again” or “maybe I should have spent some additional time in the batting cages.”

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Depth is the Key to Surviving MLB’s 162 Game Marathon

The first priority for team management has to be the daily line-up that takes the field.

This undoubtedly is the reason that position players in Major League Baseball like Albert Pujols and Alex Rodriguez have traditionally received more money over a longer term than pitchers like Johan Santana and C.C. Sabathia. While it is true that arm problems can derail a career in a heartbeat, front office workers also comprehend that players in the line-up everyday consistently create a following with the fans that a player taking the mound every fifth day just cannot create. With that said, pitching is paramount to the success in regular season play and throughout the postseason in both leagues.

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The Backdoor Cut Twins-Yankees Series Breakdown

Andy Pettitte

The Backdoor Cut takes a look back at games one and two of the New York Yankees-Minnesota Twins ALDS….Umpiring, Andy Pettitte’s Dominance, playoff managing, and Lance Berkman’s re-emergance are just a few of the topics touched on…If you like what you hear, listen to the radio version of The Backdoor Cut Tuesday Nights from 9-11 p.m. on 91.7 fm KAUG or online at www.augsburg.edu/kaug.

http://thebackdoorcut.mypodcast.com/2010/10/The_Backdoor_Cut_TwinsYankees_Playoff_Breakdown-329010.html

-Mike Gallagher

Fernando Rodney: Bad For Your Health, Good for the Tigers

That's the same look on my face whenever Rodney walks a batter

By:  H. Jose Bosch

For three years prior to this season, the Detroit Tigers relied upon closer  Todd Jones. Well, if by relied upon you also mean suffered through. His performances were so vomit-inducing; he even earned the moniker “The Roller Coaster.” And if he hadn’t looked like any of the fat slobs who play in a softball beer league (a.k.a. any of us), we probably would’ve been angrier with him.

 

Todd Jones is a nice jolly guy, a baseball Santa Claus if you will, and we dealt with it. At least we thought we were dealing with it. In reality he was getting the job done much more often than not.

 

Is that camouflage or a minor league uniform?

Is that camouflage or a minor league uniform?

 

From 2006-2008 he saved 86-percent of his games. The American League average over that time was roughly 67-percent. The gold standard, Mariano Rivera, saved games at a 93-percent clip.

 

So, despite the stomach-turning, we were pretty lucky to have Jones around. Now we’re Jones-less but there is still plenty of drama thanks to Fernando Rodney.

 

Rodney is in his first season as a full-time closer. As of now, you can’t ask him to be any better: 19-for-19 in save opportunities. But man he makes it interesting and at times, nerve wracking. As pleased as I am with his ability to close the game out, even if it takes a few batters, I still have the same doubts I did when Jones took the hill. My biggest question: can any team win a championship with such an up-and-down closer?

 

The Yankees’ dynasties in the late 90’s and early 00’s showed us the benefit of a lockdown closer (Rivera). The Angels had K-Rod, the Marlins had Ugueth Urbina. Boston had Keith Foulke and Jonathan Papelbon. Chicago relied on Bobby Jenks while the Phillies could call on Brad Lidge. I would love to have a Mariano Rivera but I’d also love to be dating Marissa Miller. We can’t have everything.

 

braun-and-marissa

 

All of the above teams had closers people regard as the best in the league. All of them have World Series Championships. Of course it’s not a sure thing. The 2006 Cardinals didn’t need a strong closer in that series and Byung-Hyun Kim was anything but clutch for the Diamondbacks in 2001. But that’s two series out of the last ten where the winner didn’t have a great closer.

I’m done with my statistical analysis/breakdown. Even if history is not on the Tigers side, I’m going to make up for all the Todd Jones bashing I have been guilty of for three years.

 

I’m going to appreciate a good thing the Tigers have going. I can only watch one game at a time.  Watching the opposing team execute a two-out walk or a lead-off hit in the ninth inning of a one-run game can be tough to put into perspective. But when Rodney & company finally get three outs and the Tigers win, I should be thankful.

 

Rodney will go out and get the job done, even if it kills us all. I’m just going to enjoy it. The more games he has to save, means the more games Detroit is winning.