Monday, June 06, 2005

One-Armed Bandito

Aaron Gleeman, in the Hardball Times, takes a look at our favorite pitcher, ¡Livan!, and his prodigious arm. He's discovering that the 150-pitch appearance that El Caballo had last week isn't something that's necessarily out of the ordinary. And he's got the numbers to back him up.

While he gives you the what, I gave you the how. After a game against the Brewers last month, I wrote one of my love letters to ¡Livan!
I'm pretty confident in saying Livan succeeds because he half-asses it out there on the mound. He goes reaaaallly Old Skool (Like Christy Matthewson old) and doesn't throw 100% on every pitch. It's simple machismo. He knows that he doesn't need to throw hard to every batter, because he's better than them.

Think about the homerun derby. Hitting the ball isn't easy. And even in a situation like that, where conditions couldn't be more optimal, the top sluggers in the game still hit cans of corn. (Yes, I know it's not a perfect example, but you get the essence of what I'm getting at.)

Livan knows, as Christy Matthewson used to advocate, that some batters will just get themselves out -- whether it's swinging at junk, or even hitting a scorching liner right at someone.

So, when he's facing a weak batter, he'll loosen up, saving the juice in his arm for the big batters, or a crucial situation in the game. And this confidence also means that he's not afraid to pitch around batters. He knows that he can bear down when he needs to and get out of any jams that may arise.

Here's hoping there are a few more thousand pitches in that arm -- this year alone!


  • You're totally right about the Christy Mathewson angle. Livan would have been fun to watch in ~1910, I think.

    As I noted in my post the other day, great vignette about Livan and the ump.

    By Blogger Basil, at 6/06/2005 9:13 PM  

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