Monday, March 19, 2007

A Slimmer Schill And His New Pitch...TWO Weeks To Go!

Curt Schilling has added a new pitch to his arsenal.....the change up. I'm sure this isn't news to you, for much has been written about Schill's increased confidence and his ability to incorporate this new weapon into his ever-changing menu of offensive stuff. This is from the Monday morning Globe....and then I'll be back with a comment......

"As for the changeup Schilling has been attempting to add all spring, it's ready, according to ( Red Sox pitching coach) Farrell. Not perfect, not the final product, but ready.
"The overall number of quality changeups is continuing to increase," Farrell said after watching the game. "It's going to be a very effective pitch for him." Against a lefthander, he's starting to get a feel to make it fade a little bit. But that would almost be the last component. I always look at that pitch with three elements to it: It's arm speed, it's change of velocity, and it's location. If you've got two of those three, you've got a usable pitch. And he has that."
Schilling threw 19 changeups, coming out generally pleased with the pitch that was added to get ground balls and, hopefully, limit his pitch counts. It has been Schilling's main focus this spring (not counting the 9 pounds he's lost so far), and has seemed to improve with each outing."

Peter here, and adding a change up is like giving Wyatt Earp another clip to speed-load his six shooter, JFK a transparent plastic limosine bubble, Atilla the Hun a full-automatic firing 9mm handgun and nuclear tipped arrowheads, or giving Superman invulnerability to Kryptonite. Making the best better, or the worst even more so. And Curt Schilling IS our ace. He does not want a pitch limit for his season-opening start in KC. And I agree. His next start? The Baltimore Orioles, AL East opponents who are sure to see him at least 4 times during the regular season. He is eliminating his spring training boycott of pitching against AL East teams. It's an important start, and weather willing, it's coming up in five days.
So what have the last 5 or 6 days of spring training told me, pitching wise? This.....we are rock solid with our starting pitching. As good as it gets. The bullpen is coming around, although I still have my reservations. Hey, who wouldn't?? We don't have an official closer! That will change, one way or the other. That much we know. Oh, the hitting will come around and the defense will be fine.
It ALL comes down to this. Barring injuries, and God knows we had more than our share last year, the 2007 Boston Red Sox will live or die with the bullpen. But.......and a big but, I know. BUT, if the search for a true closer is fruitful and the set-up guys, and there are PLENTY of them who are pitching great, are established and assigned to their proper roles, defining who will pitch, for how long and in what innings, then the sky is the limit for this team that we love.
14 days to go. Two weeks, a fortnight. Much to do, still, but so much has been accomplished. It's crunch time, readers. And we're ALL ready.
The entire article is available......just click on the title. (I like this one better!). Thanks for reading. I will be back later this morning with more Soxiness.

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