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Split Fingered Fastball

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SPORTS
February 26, 1987 | By PAUL HAGEN, Daily News Sports Writer
Those villainous New York Mets are a lot closer to the Phillies these days than they were in the National League East standings most of last season. The haughty defending world champions go through their patrician paces at Payson Field, St. Petersburg, barely a drive, a long iron and a couple putts away from Carpenter Field. That means the defending NL East runner-up Phillies are lucky enough to be able to read the wit and wisdom of Davey Johnson and his crew in the local fish-wrappers nearly every day, often accompanied by neat color pictures.
SPORTS
July 24, 1987 | By PAUL HAGEN, Daily News Sports Writer
You can't blame Don Carman, really. Every which way he turned in the last year, he was slapped upside the head by propaganda for the split-fingered fastball. Roger Craig taught it to all the San Francisco Giants pitchers, and they finished a surprising third in the NL West. Mike Scott messed up the New York Mets' swings and minds with it in the playoffs and almost singlehandedly - singlepitchedly? - led the Astros past the eventual world champions. The split-fingered fastball was in, it was hot, it was all the rage.
SPORTS
July 24, 1987 | By PAUL HAGEN, Daily News Sports Writer
You can't blame Don Carman, really. Every which way he turned in the last year, he was slapped upside the head by propaganda for the split-fingered fastball. Roger Craig taught it to all the San Francisco Giants pitchers, and they finished a surprising third in the NL West. Mike Scott messed up the New York Mets' swings and minds with it in the playoffs and almost singlehandedly - singlepitchedly? - led the Astros past the eventual world champions. The split-fingered fastball was in, it was hot, it was all the rage.
SPORTS
June 5, 1998 | Daily News Wire Services
Until Andy Ashby shut down the Houston Astros, it had been 10 years since a San Diego Padres pitcher threw three consecutive complete games. Ashby yesterday became the first big leaguer to perform the feat this year, using his split-fingered fastball with more authority and throwing an eight-hitter as the Padres beat the visiting Astros, 5-1. "It's gotten to the point now when 'Ash' takes the mound, we have a real clear idea of what he's...
SPORTS
June 2, 1988 | By TED SILARY, Daily News Sports Writer
Luckily for Monsignor Bonner's baseball team, the family of junior sensation Jack McCoy once chose to invest in a VCR. Also luckily for Bonner, San Francisco Giants manager Roger Craig once chose to market an instructional tape on pitching. And Bonner coach Bob Vent once decided to purchase it. And McCoy once asked to borrow it. The end result was a split-fingered fastball that McCoy, a lefthander, employed continually as Bonner dismantled St. Joseph's Prep, 10-0, in a first- round Catholic South playoff yesterday at Haverford College.
SPORTS
January 11, 2006 | By Jim Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Bruce Sutter was a struggling minor-league pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization when an instructor named Fred Martin approached him during spring training in 1973 and said, "Try this. " Sutter, desperate to add a pitch to a below-average repertoire, wedged the baseball between his index and middle fingers and threw it as hard as he could. That was the birth of one of the most devastating weapons a pitcher has ever had. Sutter didn't invent the split-fingered fastball, but his success with it helped him become one of the greatest relievers ever, and inspired countless others to learn the pitch that remains a staple in the game today.
NEWS
May 25, 1989 | By Tim Panaccio, Inquirer Staff Writer
There are three things you need to know about Pennsbury righthanded pitcher Chuck Walsh. He's 7-0; he has 46 strikeouts in 46 2/3 innings; and his ERA is a mind-boggling 0.75. Now that you know the above, would it surprise you to learn that Walsh was not listed on the Falcons' starting rotation prior to the season? "The most I ever did was some relief pitching last year," said Walsh, a senior. "One reason my curve needed some work is because I never threw it very much until now. " What forced Walsh out of center field and onto the mound this year was an ankle injury to senior Dan Gilbert.
SPORTS
August 19, 1997 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
Righthander Garrett Stephenson, who left Sunday's game in Houston after three shutout innings with tightness near his elbow, will miss his next start, the Phillies announced. Among those startled by the news was Stephenson himself. After being examined by club physician Phillip Marone, he said he expected to pitch against the Dodgers this weekend. Even as he spoke, though, a release was being distributed quoting Marone saying: "Garrett has a strained right elbow. He will miss at least one turn and then we'll see how he responds.
SPORTS
July 24, 1995 | THE INQUIRER STAFF
Darryl Strawberry's agent said in a radio interview yesterday that the New York Yankees are "trying to hold us hostage" with unfair contractual demands, keeping the troubled outfielder languishing in the minor leagues. Bill Goodstein told ESPN Radio he would file a grievance today with the players association against the Yankees, who he claims have reneged on their original contract. Goodstein said that the original deal, reported to be for one year at $800,000, was worked out four or five weeks ago but that the Yankees are trying to add "just absurd conditions that you would never see in a baseball contract.
SPORTS
August 7, 1997 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
Phillies lefthander Matt Beech has made 21 consecutive big-league starts without a win. He has lost 11 decisions in a row. He has not, however, lost his sense of humor about the situation. Backup catcher Mark Parent was talking about last weekend's razing of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium. Beech, overhearing the conversation, joined in. "Now I can't visit one major league stadium where I've won," he offered dryly. Beech will try, try again this afternoon against the Astros, one day short of the first anniversary of that lone victory.
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SPORTS
February 17, 2011 | By DAVID MURPHY, dmurphy@phillynews.com
CLEARWATER, Fla. - There is something about Scott Mathieson that makes you root for him to succeed, something far beyond the natural human inclination toward the good fortune of others. Yes, part of the attraction lies in the obstacles he has overcome, the multiple Tommy John surgeries his right elbow has endured, the numerous time his body has betrayed him on his quest to the big leagues. But there is something more, something internal, something about the steely determination that lies beneath his aw-shucks demeanor.
SPORTS
July 30, 2006 | By Claire Smith INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Ordinarily, a journey from Mount Joy, Pa., to Cooperstown, N.Y., would be measured in miles (283), hours (approximately five), or fuel costs (at least $30). There was nothing ordinary about the way Bruce Sutter made the journey. Born 53 years ago in Lancaster, Sutter spent a lifetime inventively and tenaciously navigating his way to Cooperstown - and the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Today, Sutter, one of the greatest relief specialists ever, will be enshrined along with 17 Negro league-era notables in induction ceremonies.
SPORTS
January 11, 2006 | By Jim Salisbury INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Bruce Sutter was a struggling minor-league pitcher in the Chicago Cubs organization when an instructor named Fred Martin approached him during spring training in 1973 and said, "Try this. " Sutter, desperate to add a pitch to a below-average repertoire, wedged the baseball between his index and middle fingers and threw it as hard as he could. That was the birth of one of the most devastating weapons a pitcher has ever had. Sutter didn't invent the split-fingered fastball, but his success with it helped him become one of the greatest relievers ever, and inspired countless others to learn the pitch that remains a staple in the game today.
SPORTS
April 15, 2001 | By Marc Narducci INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
Haddon Heights' Bill Kirk went 12-2 last season as a junior pitcher and was a first-team all-South Jersey selection by The Inquirer. But his most impressive performance may have come 60 feet, 6 inches away from the mound last summer. Kirk played on Haddon Heights' American Legion team, which earned a berth in the state playoffs. While not pitching, Kirk often played either third base or in the outfield, but Heights needed a catcher one game. The first-stringer had a knee injury and the backup had caught the first game of a doubleheader.
SPORTS
April 5, 1999 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
Here's the inside pitch on third baseman Scott Rolen's hot spring. He started to turn on the inside pitch. "Scotty's getting to fastballs I haven't seen him get to before," said manager Terry Francona. "He's maturing. They've pounded him in the last couple years. Now, if they miss, he makes them pay. And he can really handle pitches out over the plate. So this all works in his favor. " Rolen played well enough in 1997 to be voted the National League's Rookie of the Year. Last year his stats took a giant step forward when he hit 31 homers and drove in 110 runs.
SPORTS
March 30, 1999 | By Ray Glier, FOR THE INQUIRER
The Atlanta Braves started spring training with agony and shame. First baseman Andres Galarraga was diagnosed with cancer and ruled out for the season. Third baseman Chipper Jones, the most popular player on the team, said his marriage was breaking up over an extramarital affair, which produced a son. But it looks like the Braves will end spring training with some cheer. Mark Wohlers is back. Wohlers seems to have regained his control this spring. His role as closer was all but solidified yesterday when the Braves' Kerry Ligtenberg, who took over the closer's job last season when Wohlers had control problems, said he would have season-ending surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament.
SPORTS
March 4, 1999 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
If a squad of major league All-Stars hadn't toured Japan last offseason . . . If Curt Schilling hadn't been selected to the team . . . If Schilling hadn't decided to stay in shape for the trip by spending some time in the Florida Instructional League . . . If former pitching coach Johnny Podres hadn't been sauntering by one day while Schilling was warming up and noticed there was something funny about the way he was finishing off his delivery ....
SPORTS
June 5, 1998 | Daily News Wire Services
Until Andy Ashby shut down the Houston Astros, it had been 10 years since a San Diego Padres pitcher threw three consecutive complete games. Ashby yesterday became the first big leaguer to perform the feat this year, using his split-fingered fastball with more authority and throwing an eight-hitter as the Padres beat the visiting Astros, 5-1. "It's gotten to the point now when 'Ash' takes the mound, we have a real clear idea of what he's...
SPORTS
May 26, 1998 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
Now the game had reached the 14th inning. A fine rain had started to fall and Rico Brogna's body shrieked with fatigue. Brogna was hitless in five at-bats with a walk. There were two outs. Ruben Amaro danced off second, Doug Glanville off first. Expos reliever Shayne Bennett threw a split-fingered fastball. The ball barely nicked Brogna's bat before plunking into catcher Mike Hubbard's glove. The inning was over. Or was it? The ball dribbled away from Hubbard. It was a dropped foul tip. Brogna was still alive.
SPORTS
August 19, 1997 | by Paul Hagen, Daily News Sports Writer
Righthander Garrett Stephenson, who left Sunday's game in Houston after three shutout innings with tightness near his elbow, will miss his next start, the Phillies announced. Among those startled by the news was Stephenson himself. After being examined by club physician Phillip Marone, he said he expected to pitch against the Dodgers this weekend. Even as he spoke, though, a release was being distributed quoting Marone saying: "Garrett has a strained right elbow. He will miss at least one turn and then we'll see how he responds.
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