April 19, 1993 |
Dennis Ellixson appeared rattled, letting up a run in the bottom of the third then escaping a bases-loaded, one-out jam in the fourth. A good start was not Ellixson's strong point in his first real varsity action, against Glen Mills in a Del-Val League baseball game Thursday. His curveball, on the other hand, was. Using an inside-out philosophy of pitching, setting up his curveball with his fastball, Ellixson struck out a career-high eight batters over six innings of relief in helping Sun Valley to a 4-2 victory at Glen Mills.
October 2, 2008 |
Here's a look at the finer points of yesterday's 3-1 Phillies victory. In two regular-season starts against the Milwaukee Brewers, Cole Hamels allowed 14 hits and seven runs in 13 1/3 innings. Yesterday, in Game 1 of the division series, Hamels held the Brewers scoreless on two hits over eight innings. He struck out nine. Word out of the Brewers' clubhouse was that Hamels' signature change-up was better than ever, and that he had a good fastball. But three pitches are better than two and one key to Hamels' success was the use of his curveball.
April 25, 2016 |
Jerad Eickhoff was three years removed from being a 15th-round pick and even further from being considered a prospect. The pitcher was instead a middling minor-leaguer, struggling to find success on baseball's lowest rungs. Then, in the summer of 2014, he struck up a conversation with Mark Connor, a roving pitching instructor in the Texas Rangers' farm system. Connor told Eickhoff to throw his curveball more. He believed that American League pitchers who offered a heavy dosage of curveballs were more likely to succeed.
April 2, 2011 |
THE HARD PART about being on top? The margin for improvement is far smaller than the margin for regression. Roy Halladay has faced this quandary throughout most of his career, but coming off a career year in which he went 21-10 with a 2.44 ERA and won the National League Cy Young Award, it was difficult to envision an aspect of his game that he could manage to refine. Well, yesterday provided a bit of insight. In spring training, Halladay spent significant time working on his curveball, and in the Phillies' dramatic, 5-4 victory over the Astros, he used the pitch with a great deal of effectiveness.
September 7, 2015 |
In the last 15 months, countless hitters at four levels of pro baseball have found themselves quickly behind in counts because of Aaron Nola's pinpoint fastball command. Then will often come his best secondary pitch, a breaking ball, and with it an obvious question from those watching. "Was that a slider or a curveball?" Since the Phillies drafted Nola seventh overall in the 2014 draft out of Louisiana State, his breaking pitch has been labeled as both in articles and in interviews with opposing hitters.
February 27, 2010 |
Last week, Rich Dubee said it was counterproductive for Cole Hamels to work on two pitches. The pitching coach wanted to see consistency from Hamels' curveball before experimenting with a cutter. Yesterday, as Hamels faced hitters for the first time during live batting practice, he threw more cutters than curveballs. "He's been playing with it," Dubee said of the cutter. "We played with it last year some. I think he's very comfortable where he is arm-wise. He feels like he's ready to do that stuff.
February 19, 2010 |
Cole Hamels says he doesn't need to see the video - he remembers what he did. Rich Dubee does, too. He saw the times Hamels snatched the throw back from his catcher and stomped around the mound after something went wrong. When Hamels was at his best in 2008, Dubee said, he never noticed a hitch in Hamels' mound mannerisms. That changed in 2009. And so did the results. "The success won't come back until the demeanor changes - his attitude and his focus," said Dubee, the Phillies' pitching coach.
September 28, 1997 |
The visitors' bullpen in Yankee Stadium was far out in left field, and the big fence in front of it hampered the players' view. "You really couldn't see home plate from there," said Paul Hopkins. So when Hopkins got the signal from his manager and began the long walk to the mound in the middle of the fifth inning, he wasn't sure who he'd be facing. Not that it would have made much of a difference. Just called up by the Washington Senators, this was his first appearance in the majors and his nerves were already tattered.
April 10, 2001 |
It's not an eerie calm. And it's certainly not a dead calm. But Owen J. Roberts baseball coach Greg Gilbert said his current group is just . . . calm. Calm? "I asked them about it a couple of times, and I haven't got a straight answer yet," Gilbert said. "But they're going out and doing what they have to do. Every group is different, I guess. " Actually, since Gilbert showed up in Bucktown four years ago, every group of Wildcats has been the same as far as winning in the Pioneer Athletic Conference is concerned.
April 15, 2016 |
It was a curveball count. Two strikes, a runner on third in a tight game Wednesday night defined by Jerad Eickhoff's curveball. The pitch had buckled the knees of Padres hitters all night. It had to be a curveball. Eickhoff stared at Cameron Rupp. The catcher wanted fastball. So did the pitcher. "I was going to get into one," Eickhoff said. This is promise, a 2-1 Phillies win over San Diego, when a 25-year-old righthander is on the same wavelength as his 27-year-old catcher to fool the best hitter on the other team in the most crucial moment.