Farrell said it is his "out'' pitch, the split-finger fastball
, and pointed to Mark Teixeira's ninth-inning at-bat on Thursday as an example.
With Maicer Izturis on third base and two out, the veteran right-hander, protecting a two-run lead and no longer capable of reaching back and throwing a fastball 97 miles per hour as he could do in years ago, Schilling instead threw a softer version of his old hard split-finger fastball
I'll explain for instance, how baseball pitches like a curveball or a split-finger fastball
are different, based on how fast a ball is thrown, how fast the ball spins and the direction the ball spins.
Just imagine trying to hit a spitball off of Gaylord Perry of the San Francisco Giants, or blowing a split-finger fastball
by David Winfield of the New York Yankees in quick one-inning games or across nine-inning, 144 game seasons.
Shields throws two changeups, a ``get-me-over'' he throws to get ahead of hitters, and a ``put-away'' change with late downward movement similar to a split-finger fastball
that his agent, Page Odle calls a ``Bugs Bunny pitch'' because of the cartoon-like swings it typically produces.
Okajima's split-finger fastball
has had too much "finish" lately, Francona said, which has been one of his biggest problems, adding that he expects the lefty reliever to return to form as the season progresses.
3 hitter Jeff DaVanon provided the buzz kill, fanning on a full-count, split-finger fastball
in the dirt.
It's a mechanical thing, and it causes his split-finger fastball
to flatten out, making it more hittable.
And incorporated a split-finger fastball
he now consistently uses as an out pitch.
Even the pitch he's developing to go with his devastating split-finger fastball
is no longer a secret.
So he relied on his split-finger fastball
and changeup to punch out nine Indians.
He gave up just one run and struck out 10 here on Monday night against the Indians, with his split-finger fastball
being about the best it has been all season.