Felix, Mixing Pitches, And The Power of the Internet
Via Geoff Baker:
“Chaves gave me a report,” Hernandez said. “On the internet, they say when I throw a lot of fastballs in the first inning, they score a lot of runs. I tried to mix all my pitches in the first inning.”
Today, Felix threw a slider on the 3rd pitch of the game, then a curveball on the fifth pitch, getting Shannon Stewart to flyout to center. All told, he threw 3 breaking balls in his first 8 pitches, threw a first pitch slider to the 5th hitter of the game, and attacked almost every hitter with a variable selection of fastballs and breaking balls.
He gave up 2 hits in 8 innings.
Now, correlation is not causation. Maybe the A’s hitters just aren’t very good, and maybe Felix is just bound to dominate line-ups like this because his stuff is off the charts.
But you know, I love seeing Felix trying something new. Its extremely encouraging that he took some information made available to him and made adjustments to improve his approach.
That Chaves was able to use the the open letter from the blog to help drive home a point he’d already been making, well, that’s just the cherry on top. But Felix deserves all the credit in the world for this. He and Chaves did the work, and they’re the ones who tossed a shutout at the A’s today. We just get to enjoy the fruits of Good Felix.
Long Live King Felix.