It wasn’t the trip to Tacoma, he hasn’t changed breakfast cereals… if you listened to either broadcast for more than two seconds, you know that the New, Improved Joel now holds his hands way up at the start of his delivery.
August 5th: 6.1 IP, 8H, 2R, 2HR, 1BB, 4K, 104p, 67 strikes
August 11th: 7.2 IP, 7H, 2R, 0HR, 0BB, 4K, 98p, 72 strikes
That’s 42 outs recorded, 8 by strikeout… and 15 hits. 2 were home runs, so 47 balls in play. 32% went for hits, which is about normal for this year’s Mariner defense.
If, by some miracle, putting his hands up was the amazing mystery solution to all of Joel’s problems, that would be awesome. This version would put up average starts, a dramatic improvement from the Joel we’ve seen almost all of this year.
That said, two starts does not make a new pitcher. I remain skeptical that after all the work they’ve done with him, all the things they’ve tried, that something like hand position early in the windup has dramatically improved his mechanics, that those mechanics have resulted in a more effective pitcher, and that Pineiro will be able to consistently maintain them.