Saturday, June 28, 2008

Kid-K pitch Kount

Let me preface this by first saying that I am a huge fan of Scott Kazmir, and would be fairly annoyed were the Rays to lose him (via trade, injury, etc...).

That being said, if Kid-K can't figure out how to keep his pitch count down - or to be more precise, average less pitches per inning, he will eventually slide down the roatation, and rightfully so.

Your Ace is supposed to be as close to a lock for a W as you can find, and that means keeping the bullpen seated firmly on their tooshes.

The problem is that the young Mr. Kazmir hasn't made any progress in bringing his pitches/inning down at all over the first few years of his young career.


I'm glad you asked. I'll tell you why:

Scott has no doubt spent his entire life blowing batters away with his nasty stuff. The issue now is that major league hitters have seen it all before- especially scrappy old veterans. Don't get me wrong, Kaz can throw some nasty goods, but for some reason he feels the need to challenge every batter with every pitch.
He's got an ego the size of the Trop when it comes to pitching right-at solid hitters. There is no doubt in my mind that Kaz can 'fan' anyone in the league consistantly, but the major issue with trying to challenge every batter is that its going to put too many balls in hittable places, resulting in tons of foul balls as good batters try to fight off the heat, the outcome of which is: more pitches per inning.

I can't even count the number of times I've seen Kazmir record a big K- but it cost him 7, 8, or 9 pitches because the batter sprayed fouls all over the stadium before finally whiffing on the inside heat.

Every batter doesn't have to be a K, let your defense protect you. Put some balls in play and sit back and watch while Dirtbag and Co. take care of business.

I'm not a pitcher, never was, I pitched exactly 1 inning in my illustrious little league career, and know next to nothing of the mechanics of pitching, but I can assure you that if Kazmir can't figure out how to consistantly make it to the 7th innning he'll spend his career mired in the middle of the rotation, not the top.

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