March 23, 2010 |
This spring has been a study in breaking balls for Cole Hamels. He wanted to improve his curveball, which became almost nonexistent by the end of last season, and add a cutter to his repertoire. Lost in all that is his need to locate the fastball, something he struggled with in yesterday's 9-7 victory over the New York Yankees. Hamels allowed seven runs (six earned) in four innings. Hamels said he threw more fastballs than he had in any start this spring - even in situations in which he would normally throw a breaking ball.
October 31, 1998 |
The Austin, Texas, trio Fastball is at a point where it could go down as a one-hit wonder or go on to make a longer-lasting impression. It's not that "The Way," the catchy saga of elderly RV adventurers that has gained blanket MTV and modern-rock-radio play, is the band's only worthwhile song. Frontmen Tony Scalzo and Miles Zuniga, who played the Theatre of Living Arts on Thursday with drummer Joey Shuffield and an unintroduced guitar-and-keyboard player, put a bunch of solidly crafted British Invasion-meets-Texas garage-rock tunes on the sophomore All the Pain That Money Can Buy (Hollywood)
July 12, 1989 |
Rick Reuschel passed up last year's All-Star Game in Cincinnati to take a bride. The honeymoon is over, the 250-pound righthander learned last night. Reuschel made a small joke at Monday's workout. He is a man of expansive girth and sparse, deadpan humor. Told that Bo Jackson is a first-pitch fastball hitter, the 40-year-old San Francisco Giants ace countered, "Good, I'll go right after him with my best fastball . . . " Strength against strength . . . Everybody laughed because Reuschel's best fastball wheezes to the plate at about 80 mph, diving for cover.
July 2, 1998 |
Bret Saberhagen needed a while to find his fastball, but once he did, the Montreal Expos were doomed. After barely reaching 80 mph in the first inning, Saberhagen finished with seven innings of three-hit ball last night to lead Boston to a 6-1 victory over visiting Montreal. "I think the guys over there thought, 'Geez, he's throwing a lot of changeups,' " Saberhagen said after improving to 10-5 at the season's midpoint. "Those were fastballs. " The 34-year-old pitcher continued his two-year comeback from shoulder surgery with his best outing yet, striking out five and walking none while allowing one earned run. He retired the first 10 batters, even though his arm felt "cranky" in the first inning - when his fastball was clocked at 78 to 81 mph - and he didn't really find his form until the second.
August 25, 2009 |
Brett Myers said last night his hip problem was at the root of his shaky start to the 2009 season. Myers said it affected him "a lot" en route to a 4-3 record with a 4.66 ERA before he went on the disabled list in May. He also had given up 17 home runs in 63 2/3 innings before his trip to the DL. Yesterday, in his second rehab start since June 4 hip surgery to repair a torn labrum, Myers worked a scoreless first inning for the Lakewood BlueClaws...
May 14, 1992 |
Pat Combs handed the ball to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre manager Lee Elia and walked from the mound. Head down, he crossed the third base foul line, came to the top step of the dugout and - as a fan somewhere up in the stands laughed and shouted: "Hey, rag arm!" - he hurled his glove onto the bench, draped his jacket over his left shoulder and sat down. Still just 25 but far removed from the promise he exhibited when he was called up in September 1989 and went 4-0 with a 2.09 earned run average, Combs is back in Triple A this year.
May 7, 2000 |
Reliever Jeff Brantley was far from overpowering Friday night, far from dominating. That's to be expected, said the veteran righthander. Manager Terry Francona concurred. "I think we'll have a better idea where he's at after three or four consistent outings," Francona said before last night's game, one night after Brantley had pitched in a major-league game for the first time in almost a year. Brantley allowed one run - it scored on a wild pitch - and two hits while pitching the eighth inning of the Phils' 6-5 loss in Atlanta.
April 28, 1997 |
Tina Morak's fastball was on, and Abington High rode the right arm of its sophomore pitcher to the championship of the 10th annual Plymouth-Whitemarsh Tournament on Saturday. A second-year starter, Morak had 21 strikeouts in 12 innings over two games as the Ghosts claimed the title. "Mainly, my fastballs were really good, but my drops were working pretty good," Morak said. The Ghosts (7-6) easily dispatched Penn Charter in the first game, winning by 10-0 in five innings with Morak striking out nine.
August 28, 2003 |
On a lazy August afternoon in 1995, former Phillies star Johnny Callison and his wife, Dianne, were having lunch at a Bucks County tavern when a familiar topic arose. "The bartender was talking about how someone had just missed it recently," Dianne Callison recalled not long afterward. "I said I hope that never happened. " Their topic was a Phillies-Pirates game at Forbes Field in 1963. That day, Callison had pulled off one of baseball's rarest feats - collecting a single, double, triple and homer.
April 29, 2013 |
When Devin Smeltzer finds himself in a tough spot on the pitching mound, the Bishop Eustace Prep School junior reaches back for some more velocity for his fastball. Or he'll put some extra edge on his curveball. Or he'll summon the knuckleball that he throws only in special situations. But Smeltzer, 17, who is one of the state's best high school baseball players for one of the state's best teams, has a unique perspective on his most challenging moments in the competitive arena.