April 4, 2000 |
Other than senior lefthander Josh Schwartz, the busiest people at yesterday's baseball game against Haddon Township were the Gateway students who were overseeing the Schwartz-O-Meter. Every time Schwartz recorded a strikeout, another "K" was posted on the board behind the Gateway dugout. By the end of yesterday's 9-0 victory over a hard-hitting Haddon Township team in a Colonial Conference game, the board was full. Schwartz, who said he had not happy with his preseason performance, showed what he could do now that teams are playing for keeps.
July 23, 1999 |
Randy Wolf will not go undefeated in his major-league career. The rugged lefthander suffered his first loss in eight big league starts yesterday when the Milwaukee Brewers jumped on him for three first-inning runs on their way to beating the Phillies, 5-0, at County Stadium. Wolf (5-1) managed to save the bullpen and give his team 5 1/3 innings, an important fact given that the Phils play a doubleheader today. But it was still a struggle for the 22-year-old rookie, who threw only 56 strikes out of 108 pitches.
April 30, 1999 |
It is the sound that accompanies a live fastball. It is the clap of the catcher's mitt, almost like the sharp boom of thunder. It is the sound spawned by the fastball of Malvern sophomore pitcher Ross Barna. Barna entered Malvern as an eighth grader, and that spring opened his career by pitching a no-hitter. The same game, he smacked two home runs. "Yeah, that was a good experience," Barna said with a laugh. Barna, who lives in the Tredyffrin-Easttown school district, knew about Malvern's baseball history before enrolling.
April 30, 1999 |
It is the sound that accompanies a live fastball. It is the clap of the catcher's mitt, almost like the sharp boom of thunder. Years ago, in the sports hyperbole of the time, fastballs were described by how they "trailed sparks" or how they "smoked. " It was, of course, nonsense. But as long as the game has been played, a good fastball has made that distinctive sound. It is the same sound that perks the scout's ears, that brings the smile to the coach, that draws the attention of even the casual fan. And it is the sound being heard at Malvern Prep right now, the sweet smack that separates the merely functional fastball from something special.
March 25, 1999 |
Missing: Fastball. If found, return to Tyler Green c/o the Philadelphia Phillies. Reports of the disappearance of Tyler Green's fastball were confirmed by a phalanx of radar guns behind the backstop at Dunedin Stadium yesterday. Getting his first official start of the spring, Green enjoyed solid results in four innings against the Toronto Blue Jays. But scouts and, more important, Phillies decision-makers were left wondering where his fastball was. "His fastball is not very good right now," manager Terry Francona said of Green, one of four candidates for the final two spots in the Phils' starting rotation.
March 17, 1999 |
It happens every year about this time. Pitchers have been throwing for a month, and all of a sudden their arms feel heavy, lifeless, tired. Old-time baseball men call it "the dead-arm stage. " It's a completely normal spring-training phenomenon. Curt Schilling has entered this phase. That's one of the big reasons he struggled against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays yesterday. In his fourth outing of the spring, Schilling pitched three innings and gave up five hits and two runs, both on Fred McGriff's homer in the first inning.
March 9, 1999 |
For most pitchers, it's crucial to throw inside to keep hitters honest. Curt Schilling isn't most pitchers. Last year he became just the fifth pitcher in baseball history to notch 300 strikeouts in back-to-back seasons. And he did it mostly throwing a fastball that tailed away from hitters or a splitter that had them reaching for pitches in the dirt. That could be about to change. Schilling started and pitched three innings in the Phillies' 7-6 exhibition win over the Yankees last night at Legends Field.
March 9, 1999 |
Until Joe Carter came along and introduced his Louisville Slugger to Mitch Williams' tired fastball on the night of Oct. 23, 1993, the most crushing home run hit against the Phillies in World Series play was Joe DiMaggio's game-winner in Game 2 of the 1950 World Series. DiMaggio, who died yesterday at age 84, was 35 and in the penultimate season of his magnificent career when he led off the 10th inning of a 1-1 game by belting a 2-1 fastball from Robin Roberts into the upper deck above left field at Philadelphia's Shibe Park.
February 4, 1999 |
Granville Gehris is sure that some of his teammates this spring will have a wise comment or two. A few might even be brave enough to say something to him. Gehris, a Haddonfield senior, isn't naive enough to think that somebody won't make a crack about the Division I-caliber pitcher in a Speedo. Sure, his friends and teammates respect his talent, but when you're 17, not much is off limits when it comes to mocking your friends. Gehris, who hopes to make the state final in the 100-yard butterfly, isn't about to let it bother him, though.
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)