One of the things said about the old Blake Street Bombers was they never met a fastball they didn’t like. In particular, Vinny Castilla was about as dead red a hitter as has ever played. It’s hard to compare prior generations in terms of pitch velocity, movement, and location, but this offense seemed to see a lot more red than it could handle today.
Carlos Martinez stifled the Rockies offense in a 4-2 loss. The above image tells the story: 6th inning, just before CarGo grounds out and gives Arenado a raspberry to remember (talk about butthurt), he’s throwing 97 mph gas. He topped out at 98.3. In the 7th, Martinez started to fatigue just a bit, with about 5 mph off his fastball and throwing more changeups, and it was a changeup Ben Paulsen hit out of the park with Daniel Descalso on base for the Rockies only 2 runs.
Chad Bettis wasn’t horrible, giving up only six hits and two walks in 5 innings, but got bit by a couple inopportune wild pitches and some sloppy fielding from Brandon Barnes and Descalso that added up to 3 runs. His big problem was a 35-pitch 3rd, that took its toll.
The other thing that took its toll was the Evil Eighth, again. Bettis was spelled by Bergman, who threw two very solid innings. Kahnle comes out for the 8th. We asked in the pregame if he could be trusted with a late inning. The Rox are down 1 run and still in it, until Randal Grichuk (the guy taken by the Angels BEFORE Mike Trout in the 2009 draft) turns on a Kahnle 99 mph fastball and pulverizes it.
These days, it’s easy to compare pitch movement – courtesy BrooksBaseball.net PITCHf/x. First, Martinez. Top cluster is fastball, between 94 and 98 mph, moving typically between -3 and -10 inches. Dead red with movement.
Second, Kahnle. 96 to 99, but moving only from +1 to -3 inches. Pretty much dead straight.
One is hard to hit, the other is hit hard.
At least we were in this series. Next up is a trip to Miami, and then a highly unusual away-and-home dose of the Astros.
The next roster moves are going to be interesting, even assuming no more injuries. Dickerson is due to come back very soon, likely sending Parker back. Hawkins in next, Betancourt not far behind. Kahnle likely goes back. Personally, I’d like to see Oberg stay. Looking at xFIP, the next guy sent out should be Kahnle, then Brooks Brown. Logan is hard to part with as the only other lefty is Friedrich. Tough choices coming for Bridich.