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View Full Version : NY Times: Interesting Anecdote on Brett Tomko & Tony Gwynn



redsmetz
06-05-2009, 05:37 AM
No biggie here, but I saw this in this a.m.'s NY Times, a little piece on how well Brett Tomko handled Tony Gwynn in his career with a little help from Pete Harnisch.


The Plan That Stopped Gwynn
By Jack Curry

Brett Tomko, who tossed three scoreless innings in his longest stint as a Yankee on Wednesday night, had an interesting strategy when he faced Tony Gwynn from 1997 to 2000. Tomko said he pumped fastballs right over the plate.

When Tomko was with the Cincinnati Reds in 1997, he spoke to Pete Harnisch, a teammate, about Gwynn. Gywnn, who is now in the Hall of Fame, was in the midst of winning eight batting titles.

“He told me to throw it right down the middle,” Tomko said.

Tomko questioned Harnisch’s advice, but Harnisch explained it.

“He said that Gwynn was so used to hitting pitches that were out of the strikezone that I was better off throwing it down the middle,” Tomko said. “He said Gwynn wouldn’t be expecting it, so he’d probably roll it over and hit it to the right side or pop it up.”

In Tomko’s first game against Gwynn on Aug. 7, 1997, Tomko threw fastballs over the plate. Gwynn grounded out to first and popped up twice to the infield.

“I looked into the dugout at Pete, and I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?.’ ” Tomko said.

The strategy remained successful for Tomko: He held Gywnn, a .338 career hitter, to 2 hits in 12 at-bats.

Eric_the_Red
06-05-2009, 06:11 AM
I think many Reds pitchers since than also adopted the "throw it down the middle" approach to every hitter.

REDREAD
06-05-2009, 07:38 AM
cool story.. too bad Pete couldn't give Tomko advice on every hitter :)

Harnish was a smart guy. One of my favorite players when he was here.

redsmetz
06-05-2009, 08:10 AM
cool story.. too bad Pete couldn't give Tomko advice on every hitter :)

Harnish was a smart guy. One of my favorite players when he was here.

That's what I thought too. I always thought Harnisch would make a good pitching coach. I just found an article about Harnisch from an NJ magazine that I think I'll post seperately. Very smart player though, I completely agree.

Team Clark
06-07-2009, 03:01 AM
That's what I thought too. I always thought Harnisch would make a good pitching coach. I just found an article about Harnisch from an NJ magazine that I think I'll post seperately. Very smart player though, I completely agree.

Pete was OUTSTANDING in the clubhouse. Looked to as a leader, pitched some bug games and was a tremendous tutor. The Reds would be LUCKY to have him in the fold.

nate
06-07-2009, 10:47 AM
Pete was OUTSTANDING in the clubhouse. Looked to as a leader, pitched some bug games and was a tremendous tutor. The Reds would be LUCKY to have him in the fold.

Bug games really test a player's mettle.

:cool:

BCubb2003
06-07-2009, 11:45 AM
Bug games really test a player's mettle.

:cool:

Just ask Joba.

I'm surprised Gwynn didn't adjust to the two dudes who throw it down the middle, but maybe he didn't face them often enough.

RFS62
06-07-2009, 11:47 AM
Just ask Joba.

I'm surprised Gwynn didn't adjust to the two dudes who throw it down the middle, but maybe he didn't face them often enough.


Yeah, I doubt it would have worked very long against Gwynn.

Unassisted
06-07-2009, 12:06 PM
It would have been interesting to see that depicted on the Fox graphic that shows a hitter's hot zones.

RedsManRick
06-07-2009, 12:07 PM
Confirmation bias is a wonderful thing.