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Ltlabner
09-26-2006, 01:35 PM
We're always talking about a pitchers "stuff" and how decpetive or wild it is.

I'll leave the debate open as to how to define "stuff" (ie. is it just movement or movement + control).

But what pitcher(s) in the history of baseball exibited some of the nastiest "stuff" out there? Any details beyond just a name would be appreicated.

George Anderson
09-26-2006, 01:38 PM
The first two that come to mind would be Sandy Koufax and Bob Gibson. I have seen videos of them making hitters look absolutely clueless.

redsupport
09-26-2006, 01:51 PM
Bobby Locke and Bill Short immediately come to mind

Blimpie
09-26-2006, 01:59 PM
Most obscure category: Gregg Olson -- Baltimore Orioles

In his prime, his breaking stuff danced unpredictably. I remember he had a "12 to 6 curve" that literally looked like it dropped off the table. Nearest to an unhittable curveball that I have ever seen.

Several years ago, I watched a series in which he pitched all three games as a reliever. I can't remember who the opposing manager was (Johnny Oates?), but this skipper had the umps check the balls (for doctoring) every time when Olson pitched that series.

RANDY IN INDY
09-26-2006, 02:00 PM
Most obscure category: Gregg Olson -- Baltimore Orioles

In his prime, he breaking stuff danced unpredictably. I remember he had a "12 to 6 curve" literally looked like it dropped off the table. Nearest to an unhittable curveball that I have ever seen.

Several years ago, I watched a series in which he pitched all three games as a reliever. I can't remember who the opposing manager was (Johnny Oates?), but this skipper had the umps check the balls every time when Olson pitched that series.

Olsen had a good hook. Ever see Bert Blyleven?

RANDY IN INDY
09-26-2006, 02:02 PM
Bobby Locke and Bill Short immediately come to mind

Speaking of "Short's," Chris Short was pretty nasty.

flyer85
09-26-2006, 02:07 PM
Pedro.

There was a time when he was widely considered to have the best fastball, best changeup and best curveball in all of baseball.

I don't think any other pitcher has ever come close to having a trifecta like that. A lot of dominating pitchers have gotten on with only two nast pitches (Koufax, Big Unit, Ryan(until Scott taught him the scuffball)).

dman
09-26-2006, 02:13 PM
Bruce Sutter
Roger Clemens (Gulp)

texasdave
09-26-2006, 02:14 PM
eric gagne for a short period of time was almost unhittable

RichRed
09-26-2006, 02:15 PM
Olsen had a good hook. Ever see Bert Blyleven?

"It (his curveball) was nasty, I'll tell you that. Enough to make your knees buckle. Bert (Blyleven) was a terrific pitcher a dominating pitcher." - Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson

If you don't believe Brooks, you could ask Bert himself:


One curve I'll always remember was when I was pitching for Pittsburgh. Terry Kennedy was a young player with St. Louis. I threw him an 0-2 curve and it snapped. Terry's reaction was to swing straight down, like he was chopping the plate with an axe. It was the last out of the inning. After I ran off the mound, I looked over at the St. Louis' dugout. There were players rolling around on the floor, laughing. Poor Terry. I'll have to admit that was a hell of a curveball.

redsupport
09-26-2006, 02:16 PM
I cant believe someone mentioned Greg Olsen,he is my sons pitching coach here in Newport Beach, California, a very nice guy but refuses to teach him the curve until he turns 14

dfs
09-26-2006, 02:16 PM
As a 20 and 21 year old Rosario Rodriguez pitched 15 innings for the reds in the tail of the 89 and 90 seasons. I must have seen a third of those innings. Every time he pitched the ball broke a ton.

The ball broke so much, he couldn't control it and had a walk rate of a walk every two innings. You can't sustain that, but I thought once he got an ounce or two of control he was going to be unhittable.

Of course, it didn't work out that way. Pittsburgh got him off waivers and he was done after the 91 season. In 94 He went to the mexican league at 25, but even there he never threw more than 40 innings in a season. I've no idea what happened to him, but I still remember that breaking ball.

dabvu2498
09-26-2006, 02:17 PM
I hate to say it... Kerry Wood... maybe the best of his generation... and it's all but gone now.

MississippiRed
09-26-2006, 02:29 PM
When you say this, I first think of pitchers with pitches that are hard to hit, but then complemented by a completely different, equally unhittable pitch. In my book, that means Doc Gooden, who had a great fastball with movement complemented with a just-as-great, 12-6 curveball, which he called Lord Charles. Someone already mentioned Kerry Wood, who I place in the same category.

Best pitches? maybe Steve Carlton's slider.

In "Ball Four," Jim Bouton asked Sal Maglie what he used to shut out the Dodgers in some game before my time. Maglie replied, "97 snappers." So I guess he had a pretty good breaking ball.

Another category might be pitchers who, when they have their best stuff, don't necessarily strike guys out, but instead make them pound the ball into the ground, a la Brandon Webb. I think his stuff is pretty good.

vaticanplum
09-26-2006, 02:39 PM
Pedro.

There was a time when he was widely considered to have the best fastball, best changeup and best curveball in all of baseball.

I don't think any other pitcher has ever come close to having a trifecta like that. A lot of dominating pitchers have gotten on with only two nast pitches (Koufax, Big Unit, Ryan(until Scott taught him the scuffball)).

I say Pedro too.

I'm only going by stuff I've seen, not stuff I've read about. But in my lifetime, Pedro definitely; when he was at his best he was like nothing else I've ever seen. He's one player I don't think I could ever stop respecting solely on the basis of his talent and pitching smarts.

RedsManRick
09-26-2006, 02:44 PM
I can't believe this discussion has gone this far without mention of Rivera's cutter. I can't think of another pitcher who threw almost 1 pitch exclusively, which after 10+ years still couldn't be hit with any regularity.

If you are talking an entire repitoire of "stuff", it's the combination of pitches some guys have which enhances the actual quality of a given pitch. With Rivera, it's just a single, nasty, nearly unhittable pitch.

Blimpie
09-26-2006, 02:50 PM
I hate to say it... Kerry Wood... maybe the best of his generation... and it's all but gone now.His 20 strikeout game (versus the Astros?) has to go down as one of the most awesome performances I have witnessed.

I don't know how many strikeouts were swinging, but it was a bunch....

RANDY IN INDY
09-26-2006, 02:55 PM
I cant believe someone mentioned Greg Olsen,he is my sons pitching coach here in Newport Beach, California, a very nice guy but refuses to teach him the curve until he turns 14

Thank him for that. Sage piece of advice.:beerme:

redsupport
09-26-2006, 02:57 PM
joe henderson and jay ritchie send their best

Roy Tucker
09-26-2006, 03:03 PM
I sat behind home plate for a Reds-Mets game in the early 90's where David Cone had nuclear stuff.

His slider and curve were breaking unbelievably. Coupled with a moving fastball, he had a whole bunch of K's. And the Reds were missing not by fractions of inches but multiple inches.

lollipopcurve
09-26-2006, 03:13 PM
I agree with the mention of Gagne and Wood. I also thought Dibble's fastball/slider combo was unhittable when he was on.

I am old enough to have seen Koufax on TV, and while I didn't have much to compare it to at the time, I could see he was on another plane -- an impression that's been confirmed by the historical footage I've seen since.

ochre
09-26-2006, 03:14 PM
Randy Johnson seemed to have moderately good stuff in his prime.

Johnny Footstool
09-26-2006, 03:15 PM
Dave Stieb.

He toiled in obscurity in Toronto in the 80's, but from 82-85 he was absolutely deadly. I remember watching him on TV and wondering what the hell kind of pitch breaks sharply *in* to a RH batter. It looked like a right-handed screwball or a reverse slider. A friend of mine asked me about it the next day, and neither of us had any idea. It was absolutely the nastiest pitch I've ever seen.

Aronchis
09-26-2006, 03:18 PM
Yeah, I prefer "stuff" guys over velocity guys. Something to remember about Homer Bailey, who IMO doesn't have overly good stuff.

redsupport
09-26-2006, 03:25 PM
I think Joe Edelen had incredible stuff, it just was not in the realm of baseball

jimbo
09-26-2006, 03:45 PM
Yeah, I prefer "stuff" guys over velocity guys. Something to remember about Homer Bailey, who IMO doesn't have overly good stuff.

I agree. When I think about how good a pitcher's "stuff" is, I think about how how much movement they have on their breaking pitches and how well they can change speeds. If you can combine those two traits with the ability to locate your pitches consistantly, you have a good pitcher.

I think velocity is somewhat overrated. I'll take a guy with the above attributes who may not throw much heat, over a guy who can throw in the upper 90's, but is limited to what else he can do, anyday of the week.