JOHN CLEESE "I APOLOGIZE UNRESERVEDLY DEPT."
Whether Gallardo throws another game like this, is beside the point. I definitely did not think him capable of this kind of performance. Thrilled to see that he is.
About the 2nd inning, Gallardo's fastball had you sort of blinking. He was using a very high front side, glove in the release area, shoulders connected to the CF very well ... well, he's always come over the top, Tall and Fall rather than drive and drop. But today he seemed to be throwing downhill, getting nice vertical bite.
Time and again he would throw the glove up there, crest the roller coaster and then the fastball would angle down to nip the knees. Boom, 91 on the grid, overlaying the bottom line of it. Then he'd bring it up over the zone, effectively wild, and they'd sucker for it. It was nice.
Brooks confirms. Gallardo was throwing a 92 MPH cut fastball, good gloveside tuck, and this underlined the fact that he was --- > changing the eye level. Pitching up and down the ladder, as opposed to trying to paint the outside corner. A fadeaway would have diluted the effect.
So then the couple of paintballs he did throw, those were like Fastball #3. He still did not have great command, but you do NOT have to be so fine when you are pitching up-and-down with gloveside bite. The fastball was (relatively) weaponized for him again.
And then his breaking pitches were portioned AWAY from the slider that Dr. D dislikes so much. He threw 17 yakkers -- have always liked those -- for a -1.04 run value.
He threw another 15 changeups, for a -0.26 run value.
He threw 23 sliders, which did get hit around for a +0.72 run value; three of his four hits were off those little sliders. But the point is that is 4x pitches with a fastball that was respectable. He got 5 swings and misses off the sinker; he got 2 swings and misses off the 92 MPH cutter. He got 2 whiffs off the curve, another 2 off the changeup, 4 off the slider. That's 15 whiffs (!) and they were distributed across 4 pitches.
Mercy sakes alive, he was pitching in the John Lackey template. Not at the top of it, mind you. But it was workin'. If he did it again it would work again. Could it be that Mel Jr. directed Gallardo to the "change eye levels" shtick with the fastball?
IN DR. D's DEFENSE
He Who Must Not Be Named, that shtick was always predicated on --- > "unless Dipoto knows something about his arm bouncing back." What Dipoto SAID was that Gallardo is savvy. Savvy and those 2016 mushballs get you a 4:3 control ratio in the American League.
Gallardo's control ratio was 85:61 last year. It was who knows what in Spring Training. It was 9:6 in eighteen innings this year. But Sunday that control ratio was 7:1, against a good and left-handed lineup. That's 'cause he threw the ball way better.
The M's uniforms, and Zoom, and especially Malcontent, have been saying he's capable of throwing the ball fairly decent this year. Sunday they were way right. I'm up for more of the same, you?