So how did he go from being a very good pitcher to as close to unhittable as there is in the game? One pitch: the cutter. Haren toyed with the pitch briefly in Oakland, dabbled with it last year after his trade to Arizona and became a full-blown cut-fastball machine this year.
"It's become a great pitch for me," Haren said. "I wanted something so that when I had to come into the zone, say 2-0, 1-0, I could throw something I can command but at the same time had more movement than a fastball. And that's exactly what the cutter does: It has enough movement to start out in the zone and move off the barrel of the bat."
Before the All-Star Game, Haren chatted briefly with Cardinals catcher
2. The Dodgers may be considered a longshot to get
3. I totally get the Phillies taking a $1 million flier on
In four years with the Mets, Martinez made only 33 starts on normal rest, and 46 starts with extra rest. He pitched better on the fifth day (15-6, 3.25) than he did with extra days between starts (17-17, 4.54), but what's important is that the Mets didn't believe he could maintain such a level if they kept throwing him on the fifth day. Now he turns 38 in November and hasn't pitched in a big-league game in 10 months. He is a fifth starter with a high profile. Not bad, and worth a shot because of his pedigree, but in other words, when it comes to pulling the Phils into the postseason, he's no
And oh by the way, there have been 44 wins by starting pitchers in postseason games the past two years. Only one pitcher at least as old as Martinez has notched even one of those victories: