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SPORTS
April 11, 2010 | By Matt Gelb INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
David Herndon learned how to throw his sinker by accident as a sophomore in college. Now it's just about the only pitch he throws. Herndon has been a revelation for the Phillies after the team took a flier on him as a Rule 5 pick during the off-season. He didn't allow a run the entire spring. Through three major-league outings and 3 1/3 innings, he remains spotless. He has done it by throwing sinkers on 78.9 percent of his pitches. So how does he get by with one pitch? Herndon shrugged when asked.
SPORTS
April 23, 1996 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
Baseball, at times, can be a simple game. For Phillies lefthander Terry Mulholland (and most pitchers, for that matter), all the technical stuff involving radar guns and release points, all the scouting reports on strengths and weaknesses and setting up hitters, all the seam-head mumbo-jumbo about left-right percentages and late-inning pressure situations can be boiled down to two simple equations: Pitches down = Good. Pitches up = Bad. Einstein probably could have invented an obtuse mathematical formula to explain that principle.
SPORTS
March 21, 1991 | By Dick Polman, Inquirer Staff Writer
The saga of the mystery man continues. It looked for awhile yesterday as if Bruce Ruffin, the lefty phenomenon of '86, would satisfy the expectations of his manager - namely, that he would protect a lead in the waning moments of a ball game. The expectation was that Ruffin would pitch three innings, throwing the sinker that bewitched National League batters five years ago. But he has struggled ever since, and this spring he has embarked on yet another quest to find himself.
SPORTS
March 4, 2010 | By Andy Martino INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
So far in his career, Cole Hamels has thrown two pitches - a fastball and a change-up - with consistent effectiveness. He is trying to augment those this spring by improving his curveball and adding a cutter. But Hamels' efforts to diversify go still further. The 26-year-old lefthander is also working on a sinker this month. The sinker, or two-seam fastball, induces ground-ball outs, which in turn can reduce pitch counts and allow Hamels to pitch deeper into games. Hamels actually tinkered with the pitch in several games last summer.
SPORTS
October 10, 2008 | By Joe Juliano INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
For Derek Lowe, it was the ultimate "What if?" game, the kind of night where he wished he could have taken back the two pitches that eventually doomed the Los Angeles Dodgers in the opener of the National League Championship Series. Lowe had his masterful sinker ball working for the first five innings but found that the pitch abandoned him in the sixth, when Chase Utley and Pat Burrell hit home runs for all of the Phillies' scoring in their 3-2 win over the Dodgers last night at extremely loud Citizens Bank Park.
SPORTS
April 22, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
After he threw 109 pitches Friday, Roy Halladay declared it "was about as close as I've felt to where I want to be. " Halladay has made four starts in 2013 and the evolution has been constant. That was more than evident in Halladay's pitch selection. He relied on his sinker more than ever while with the Phillies. Against St. Louis, Halladay threw his sinker 50 times, according to Pitch F/X data. Research by ESPN Stats & Info showed it was the most frequently Halladay has used his sinker in a game since the beginning of 2009.
SPORTS
February 25, 2012 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The pile of envelopes in Vance Worley's locker slowly disappeared Friday. One by one, Worley signed each baseball card with a blue sharpie and inscribed his number, 49, at the end of his name. "See this one?" he said, pointing to a card. "Look at the gloss. It won't stick. " Fan mail comes in larger quantities now, just one adjustment for the 24-year-old righthander now firmly a member of the Phillies rotation. Last spring, Worley was sent to minor-league camp almost two weeks before opening day. By summer, a city was captivated by the bespectacled pitcher who hopped off the mound every time he recorded a strikeout.
SPORTS
June 14, 2009 | By Andy Martino INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Kyle Kendrick's most recent major-league stint lasted less than 24 hours, and his development is far from complete. After being recalled from triple-A Lehigh Valley on Friday afternoon and losing Friday night's 13-inning game against Boston, the righthander was optioned back to Lehigh, and lefthanded reliever Sergio Escalona was recalled. Kendrick won 21 games for the Phillies in 2007 and 2008, but did so primarily with his sinker. Demoted in spring training with orders to work on his change-up and cutter, Kendrick was earnestly engaged in that process when Scott Eyre strained his left calf Thursday night in New York.
SPORTS
March 9, 2016 | By Matt Breen, Staff Writer
BRADENTON, Fla. - Vince Velasquez threw just 882/3 innings last season, a byproduct of a back injury, some back-and-forth stints in the minors, and a bullpen assignment. But the 23-year-old righthander has another idea to explain why he was unable to log more innings. "I went deep into counts," Velasquez said. "I was throwing a lot of pitches. I had a lot of short games because I threw straight fastballs. " That, he said, is why he is dedicated to throwing more sinkers, a pitch he rarely used.
SPORTS
May 28, 2009 | By Ray Parrillo INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Pitching yesterday for the Lakewood BlueClaws, J.C. Romero, who will turn 33 next week, felt a little like a Dutch uncle dispensing advice to wide-eyed 18-to-22-year-olds. "I said, 'Listen, just because you're a professional athlete, there are some things that come with the territory,' " the lefthanded reliever said after pitching two perfect innings for the Phillies single-A club. Lakewood won, 5-3, over West Virginia. "They have to understand what is normal for everybody else can sometimes be a problem for us," Romero said.
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SPORTS
March 9, 2016 | By Matt Breen, Staff Writer
BRADENTON, Fla. - Vince Velasquez threw just 882/3 innings last season, a byproduct of a back injury, some back-and-forth stints in the minors, and a bullpen assignment. But the 23-year-old righthander has another idea to explain why he was unable to log more innings. "I went deep into counts," Velasquez said. "I was throwing a lot of pitches. I had a lot of short games because I threw straight fastballs. " That, he said, is why he is dedicated to throwing more sinkers, a pitch he rarely used.
SPORTS
March 14, 2014 | BY RYAN LAWRENCE, Daily News Staff Writer rlawrence@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - In his first appearance in a Phillies uniform 2 weeks earlier, Roberto Hernandez served up a trio of near-400 foot batted balls before getting through the Toronto Blue Jays lineup. The third batter of the game, Jose Bautista, sent a ball into orbit that eventually landed outside Bright House Field for a home run. Hernandez was hit hard that day. But in the three starts that have followed, the 33-year-old free-agent addition has shown promise for a pitching staff in need of stability.
SPORTS
March 13, 2014 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. - Justin Upton popped a David Buchanan sinker into the sky, and the 24-year-old Phillies righthander shouted as he descended the Champion Stadium mound. Shortstop Freddy Galvis captured the lazy fly ball. Buchanan, an improbable entrant in the fifth-starter competition this spring, completed three scoreless innings Tuesday against a stacked Braves lineup. He was disappointed. "You never like falling behind [the hitters] because you never want to get hurt," Buchanan said.
SPORTS
September 19, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
Kyle Kendrick could have trouble beyond a 6.91 second-half ERA. The Phillies righthander will not start Wednesday because of a sore shoulder that required an MRI examination Tuesday. His disappointing season could come to a premature conclusion. Interim manager Ryne Sandberg called the decision "very cautionary and conservative. " He could not say whether Kendrick would start again in 2013. Kendrick has pitched with the ailment for weeks, Sandberg said. He previously disclosed the injury and appeared on the team's medical report.
SPORTS
May 8, 2013 | By Bob Brookover, Inquirer Staff Writer
A couple of hours before Kyle Kendrick provided the Phillies with the kind of performance that is becoming standard for the underrated and underappreciated 28-year-old righthander, relief pitcher Chad Durbin recalled the running joke that used to be told about his teammate. "He's got two pitches: a sinker and a sinker," Durbin said. "It was half joke, but the reality was that his sinker was good enough that he could come up and get big-leaguers out with one pitch. He had some secondary pitches, but he didn't really need to go to them.
SPORTS
April 22, 2013 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
After he threw 109 pitches Friday, Roy Halladay declared it "was about as close as I've felt to where I want to be. " Halladay has made four starts in 2013 and the evolution has been constant. That was more than evident in Halladay's pitch selection. He relied on his sinker more than ever while with the Phillies. Against St. Louis, Halladay threw his sinker 50 times, according to Pitch F/X data. Research by ESPN Stats & Info showed it was the most frequently Halladay has used his sinker in a game since the beginning of 2009.
SPORTS
April 6, 2012
PITTSBURGH - The cutter backed up on Roy Halladay, caught Andrew McCutchen between the hip and butt. The boos from the 39,585 at PNC Park were loud and instantaneous, a good thing since the usual April crowd in this place might have otherwise heard the expletive the Phillies ace screamed as he pivoted toward the centerfield wall. This was in the fourth inning of a scoreless game Thursday, a game that already mirrored the last real game Halladay had pitched in, a game in which the margin of error was again microscopic.
SPORTS
February 25, 2012 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CLEARWATER, Fla. - The pile of envelopes in Vance Worley's locker slowly disappeared Friday. One by one, Worley signed each baseball card with a blue sharpie and inscribed his number, 49, at the end of his name. "See this one?" he said, pointing to a card. "Look at the gloss. It won't stick. " Fan mail comes in larger quantities now, just one adjustment for the 24-year-old righthander now firmly a member of the Phillies rotation. Last spring, Worley was sent to minor-league camp almost two weeks before opening day. By summer, a city was captivated by the bespectacled pitcher who hopped off the mound every time he recorded a strikeout.
SPORTS
September 2, 2011 | By Matt Gelb, Inquirer Staff Writer
CINCINNATI - Don't ask Vance Worley to explain his penchant for called strikeouts because he is as confused as the batters who watch his sinkers float into the catcher's mitt. "Is that weird?" Worley said. "That's weird. " Worley struck out seven in Thursday's 6-4 victory over Cincinnati, and six of them were looking. This season, 52.2 percent of his strikeouts are called, the highest percentage for any National League pitcher with at least 100 innings. Ultimately, Worley was displeased with his effort Thursday because he allowed three seventh-inning runs that morphed a rout into a taut affair.
NEWS
September 1, 2011 | By Matt Gelb, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
CINCINNATI - Don't ask Vance Worley to explain his penchant for called strikeouts because he is as confused as the batters who watch his sinkers float into the catcher's mitt. "Is that weird?" Worley said. "That's weird. " Worley struck out seven in Thursday's 6-4 victory over Cincinnati, and six of them were looking. This season, 52.2 percent of his strikeouts are called, the highest percentage for any National League pitcher with at least 100 innings. Ultimately, Worley was displeased with his effort Thursday because he allowed three seventh-inning runs that morphed a rout into a taut affair.
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