Baseball Crank
Covering the Front and Back Pages of the Newspaper
September 3, 2007
BASEBALL: The End of the Beginning

Nothing is certain in pennant races, but I think we saw the end of the Braves' chances of winning the division yesterday, with the Mets pulling 7.5 games ahead, as well as the confirmation of my sense from Day One of this season that the Phillies were the greater threat of the two even despite the residual toughness of any team helmed by Bobby Cox and led by John Smoltz and Chipper Jones. Of course, Philly's pitching staff is still a horror show, as yesterday's latest Adam Eaton fiasco showed - today's Philly starter is Jamie Moyer (5.08 ERA), yesterday's pitchers had ERAs of 6.28, 6.00, 5.96 and 2.11 (JC Romero being the odd man out), the prior day 6.27, 5.09, 5.74, 6.04 and 5.36.

At the same time, today feels like Opening Day at last, with Pedro beginning anew in the place(Cincinnati) where he started his Mets career 2 1/2 years ago. Hope springs anew even in the Fall.

PS - Remember, Pedro needs only 2 Ks for 3,000, so he doesn't have to be highly effective for today to be a career milestone.

UPDATE: Pedro's fastball rose from 82-83 mph at the beginning of the first inning to 88-89 by the end. Not the Pedro of old, but whether he can get up consistently around 90 will be hugely important to whether he will be an asset over the next two months.

And Aaron Harang becomes #3,000. Meanwhile, Ichiro is 2 runs scored from his 7th consecutive season of 200 hits and 100 runs scored.

Well, Pedro does about the best you could realistically hope for: 5 innings, 76 pitches, 4 Ks, 3 runs (1 unearned), hit 90 mph on the gun in his last inning of work, pretty good control, working his fastball, change, curve and to a lesser extent slider. We'll have to wait and see where he goes from there.

Posted by Baseball Crank at 12:17 PM | Baseball 2007 | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

Pedro will increase his chances for success if he really works on mixing speeds to whatever he does have. There's nothing wrong with an 82 mph if it is followed by a 90 mph, and the hitter can never work on his timing. Pedro is now is at an age where he will have to add craft and guile to compensate for lessened velocity. It's been done by many pitchers with great success. I watched Rick Reuschel drive hitters crazy with mixed speeds.

Posted by: NRA Life Member at September 3, 2007 7:17 PM

I feel VERY good.

Posted by: Mike at September 3, 2007 7:54 PM

Pedro looked good. He could have gotten out with only one run allowed if the team had played better D behind him. And he will be very effective if he's consistently in the high 80's, like El Duque is.

Posted by: Jerry at September 3, 2007 7:55 PM

NRA - The next pitch after Pedro hit 90 he was clocked at 78. Brandon Phillips didn't handle that real well.

Posted by: Crank at September 3, 2007 8:41 PM

I realize I'm counting my chickens, putting the cart before the horse, etc., but it is going to be real interesting to see who Willie decides to start in the postseason.

Posted by: Al at September 3, 2007 11:38 PM

It's nice to see Pedro out there again.

Posted by: jim at September 4, 2007 3:12 PM
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