Adjustment time for Schilling
Few pitchers understand themselves better than the Big Schill, Curt Schilling. This isn’t a case of him giving up six homers in his last two starts and not knowing why.
Schilling grasps exactly what he is doing, which is making it more frustrating for him. He is a power pitcher, always has been, probably always will be.
The problem he is having is that that power is now 91-93-mph instead of 95-98 mph. When Schilling is in jams, his killer instinct still makes him go for a high-octane fastball instead of concentrating more on location.
By trying to throw the ball too hard, Schilling is mislocating at key times — case in point, tonight’s 95 mph pitch that Gibbons deposited over the wall for a two-run homer.
Remember that Pedro went through this same adjustment around 2002, suffering a drop in velocity and learning how to win in spite of it. This is a hard transition for any pitcher to make, even guys who have the stuff of Pedro and Schilling.
Schilling needs to start focusing more on painting instead of power. I think he realizes that. The Yankees will be a crucial and telling test on Monday night at Fenway.
Tonight was a win, let’s not forget that. Loretta continues to be lights out. Papelbon is still unhittable. And Timlin is still getting it done at the age of 40.
To me, the bullpen and timely hitting are the two reasons this team is in first place right now.
Also, here is a plug for what sounds like a pretty cool upcoming event for you local Bostonians.
There is an interesting event going
on at the Boston Public Library from
10 a.m.-4 p.m.
(intermission for lunch) on Saturday.
SABR, the regional chapter
of the Society for American Baseball Research, is having a symposium on
sabermetrics that will give you insight on how general managers such as Theo
Epstein find strong bargains on the open market. The event is free and open to
Among other things, the
seminar will delve into the cutting edge findings of the stats gurus, including
news about clutch hitting and how to predict a team’s likelihood of success.
For more information,
contact Cecilia Tan of SABR Publicity at 617-290-9043, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.