Morning Wood: It’s Not The Speed of The Fastball, It’s The Movement of The Cutter

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Timmay used to have an arm. Tim Lincecum’s fastball topped at 91.8 mph last night as the Phillies knocked him around and erupted for five runs, four of which came in the first inning.

We’ll take the 5-2 victory.

Roy Halladay recorded his third win in three tries, though, at times, he didn’t have his best stuff (more on that in a second). Halladay had a high pitch count early, thanks in large part to a 24-pitch first inning (is it just me, or is first inning Halladay just an average Halladay?), but still managed to pitch eight innings, giving up only two runs.

While I have no idea who they are, they say that the best pitchers figure out a way to win on nights where they don’t have their best stuff. Which is exactly what Halladay did last night.

He thew 85 pitches through five innings. But after a minor confrontation with home plate umpire Marty Foster following an Aubrey Huff walk in the fifth, Doc turned up the intensity just a bit.

Look at this stare when Halladay didnt' get a strike call on an inside cutter to Huff:

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Doc would throw 9, 6, and 9 pitches over the next three innings, respectively, then turn it over to Jonathan Papelbon for the save. 

Some are concerned that Doc’s velocity isn’t where it should be. In the spring, Ken Rosenthal, citing a Major League scout, said that it should be a concern. Halladay ripped them. But the bow-tie man and the scout may have been onto something. Halladay’s fastball topped out at 90.8 last night, one mph less than Lincecum’s watered-down speed ball. During Halladay’s third start of the season last year (April 13 at Washington), he hit 94.2 on the gun, and his fastball averaged nearly 92 mph. Last night his average fastball hovered under 90 mph… 

Of course, the decreased velocity doesn’t seem to be affecting Halladay: he’s 3-0 with a 1.17 ERA and a 0.78 WHIP… but it’s worth keeping an eye on.


Ryan Howard visited a “wound specialist” this week. That doesn’t sound good. John Russo, the head man over at Team To Beat, pointed out that it sounds like Ryno got shot at war.  

Here’s what Ruben Amaro told reporters: []

In short, Amaro said, Howard still has a wound on the back of his ankle. It is getting smaller, but it has not healed to the point where doctors are comfortable letting him run or swing a bat.

“It’s still healing,” Amaro said. “He’s doing well. We’ll continue on the same deal.”

“The biggest challenge is getting the wound to the skin,” Amaro said. “For how deep it was, it’s getting pretty close. [The wound] can’t ‘skin over’ until it gets to the skin. That’s the last thing to happen.”


That sounds like a convoluted Rube explanation if I ever heard one. If Howard still isn’t at the point where he can run or swing (earlier in the spring the Phillies made it sound like hitting was no more strenuous on the Achilles than taking grounders), than why was he taking ground balls at Citizens Bank Park two weeks ago? Like, can we get trainer Scott Sheridan to just tie Howard down to a bench until the wound “skins over,” or whatever the fuck Amaro wants to call it? Thanks.

Chase Utley is still deceased. He’s rehabbing in Arizona, which should continue to worry you. People don’t fly across the country (especially when they have warm weather facilities in, say, Clearwater) to “rehab.” They go there to visit specialists, like the one Utley visited in March. He will rejoin the team next week, when the Phillies play in Arizona, but there is still no timetable for his return. Lovely.


16 Responses

  1. To Doc’s credit he said that it takes him a little longer these days to get his complete arm strength. He has a ton of innings on the right wing. However he’s still damn near untouchable and 95% of the pitchers in the league would take a “less effective” Doc and his 1.17 ERA and 0.78 whip

  2. If Ryan Howard has an open wound (and I think he does), its probably from the infection near his scar. Ruben is right about it. They take a long time to heal. I have had 2. 1 took about 3.5 weeks to heal and I was 24. The other happened when I was 17 and it took 5-6 weeks to heal fully, and it was a lot bigger.
    All the best to The Big Piece.

  3. I have my concerns too, but based upon whats happened to Chase & Ryan respectively over the last 2 years, I think you’re a lil overly concerned right now…I’d rather have them dealing with someone who specializes in such matters than someone who has a general knowledge of the injuries…but that’s just me.

  4. You have to start wondering how many more years are we going to have to deal with this. As I see it, we have 2 star players out to who-knows when, 3 major players that need to be signed at the end of the year and a bunch of utility players getting it done for right now and a bunch of money tied up in aging players.
    When is when?

  5. Kyle, I’m surprised you are not on the story about a Canuck player taunting Richards by snorting a line of coke off his stick, you’re man love is slipping

  6. I work in a business related to wound care. Ryans infection likely caused the perimeter of the wound to scar rather than keep moving inward. They may need to do another minor surgery and actually enlarge the wound so they can get it fully closed. I saw a pic from spring training where you could see the wound perimeter was red and raised – that skin won’t meet in the middle.

  7. Halladay can get away with the low 90s fastball because he relies so much on movement and location. Timmay is going to really struggle since he is..well, used to be, a power pitcher.

  8. it was too cold last night and he loses some velocity when they are too close to sea level. just worry about our offense. that was timmy-jims best start of the year last night.

  9. i been sayin it. i talked with a surgeon that has dealt with this kind of injury before surgically, ryan howard will never play again. you have been warned

  10. Let me translate what Amaro said for you, since I know you are too consumed with swallowing his kids to listen.
    “I hope the smoke I blew up your ass gave you an orgasm, and Howard will not be back this year”.

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