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October 4, 2013

Raising Aces

Playoff Pitchers, and Pitches, to Watch

by Doug Thorburn


The National League contingent of the League Division Series kicked off yesterday, with the Cardinals and Dodgers jumping to early leads in the opening round, but today's jammed slate will bring playoff baseball into full swing. All eight of the qualifying teams will take the field; four ballgames on tap matches the total of the past three days combined. I'm ready to buckle up for a 12-hour day of playoff baseball, eagerly anticipating the level of intensity and intrigue that can be found only in October.

This article is for those about to watch an exciting postseason, regardless of any particular rooting interests. There are dozens of storylines taking place on the mound, and every playoff team has some pitching-related nuance to appreciate as we watch them go to war.

Los Angeles DodgersKenley Jansen's Cutter
Jansen recorded the final out by a Dodger pitcher in the 2013 regular season, and though the Dodgers’ closer appeared in an unfamiliar non-save situation, the breakdown of his approach to the Rockies' Michael Cuddyer was more of the same.

  • Cutter, 95 mph.
  • Cutter, 93 mph.
  • Cutter, 94 mph.
  • Cutter, 95 mph.

Strikeout.

Such is the way of the walk in Kenley Land. The only real surprise here was that the NL batting leader simply watched the fourth consecutive cutter slice over the middle of the plate for the called K. Cuddyer must have been looking for something else, but it is tough to ignore Jansen's 90 percent frequency with the cut fastball.

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<< Previous Article
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: NL... (10/04)
<< Previous Column
Premium Article Raising Aces: A Taxono... (09/27)
Next Column >>
Premium Article Raising Aces: Set-up t... (10/11)
Next Article >>
Premium Article Playoff Prospectus: AL... (10/04)

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