i couldn't watch Leake's first three starts but I did watch tonights game.
6 out of 7 innings he made it look easy.
and in the 1 bad inning he had he was able to limit the damage to ONE run.
folks, thats some fine pitching.
On another note, I vote for a nickname contest, since "Cool Hand Leake" is annoying me. My submission is "Take a Leake"
Can't win with 'em
Can't win without 'em
I think it's time to say that the FO got this one right, not just in the drafting, but also in bringing him north from ST.
Volquez had an ERA in the 1's for half a season and everybody was calling him the next Pedro Martinez. Cueto was in the low 2's for almost as long last year. Both were in either their first or second real MLB seasons at the time. That's going to be tough for Leake to beat.
I like what I've seen from Leake so far but he will need to adjust as he goes through the league. A lot of pitches that he's fooling hitters on are way out of the strike zone. This reminds me of Ryan Wagner early in his career. Word will get around to wait on Leake and he'll walk you. I think Leake purposely throws it out of the strike zone because it's been so successful for him rather than he not knowing where it's going.
"Pitchability and all that"? Without his ability to locate, throw a variety of breaking stuff and work out of jams, he isn't Mike Leake. It's not like he's blowing away guys with stuff over the plate.regardless of pitchability and all that, Leake's stuff was flat out impressive tonight
Velocity and movement are nothing without command. Being able to command pitches with a lot of movement requires understanding one's delivery well and being able to repeat. Because Leake is smart and an exceptional athlete for a pitcher, he can do that. And he doesn't get rattled. He's got stuff, yeah, but a lot of guys have stuff. It's his ability to manipulate it that makes him who he is.
"Baseball is a very, very complex business. It's more of a people business than most businesses." - Bob Castellini
While I understand your argument after watching guys lay off Leake's stuff outside of the zone, I think your underestimating his command. Consistently last night Leake tried to get guys to chase and they didn't, he'd get behind 3-1, 2-0 etc. However, he'd fight right back with pitches in the zone that they still couldn't get a good stick on. VERY few balls were hard hit.
The reason why the Stros couldn't hit balls hard wasn't the fact many pitches were out of the zone, it's the fact Mike Leake's pitches all have serious action on them. Thus, even when the pitch is a strike... it still has late movement causing average contract.
Also, grouping Wagner with Leake is an insult to his entire family. We forgive you though
Side Note: Leake's command is so good, he's trying to get them to chase if they want too. It's pitching at its finest and we should all be glad he's a Red!
Last edited by forfreelin04; 04-29-2010 at 10:53 AM. Reason: sidenote
I think we're on the same page. My point is that is if guys like Michael Bourn laid off those 3-2 pitches way out of the strike zone it'd have been a different game. I agree with you that Leake has the command and moxy to adjust. Let's hope we're right. I think he's already adjusted because he's found that major league hitters will lay off a lot more pitches than PAC 10 hitters thus his 7 walk game. These adjustments will need to continue.
Last edited by Sea Ray; 04-29-2010 at 11:08 AM.
I love Leake's windup. Simplicity. The easier a windup can be perfected, the easier it is to throw strikes.
Certainly, there are exceptions to the rule, but why complicate things? A pitcher must repeat his windup at least 100 times in a well pitched game, you might as well keep it simple.
If you wonder where Cueto's command went and why Bailey simplified his windup, there is your reason.
We still have plenty of starts to see how he progresses. It will be fun. I hope your enjoying it as much as me.
It's exciting to watch a Reds pitcher who is actually quite polished. Bailey and Cueto will learn alot from Leake. The first thing they need to learn is "cooler heads always prevail." I was at the game last Saturday and saw Cueto walk as slowly as possible back to the Reds dugout after his baserunning gaffe. He proceeded to turn a quality start into a bad one by bringing his gaffe out onto the mound with him.
Honestly, as crazy as it is to say, I see a lot of Greg Maddux in this kid. He goes about his business, is smaller in stature, has a lot of movement on his pitches - especially to right-handed hitters and throws a heavy ball. He doesn't have the pinpoint accuracy of Maddux (though few do), but his command for his age, despite being squeezed a great deal early on by the umpires, is pretty impressive.
I'm not predicting a Maddux-like Hall of Fame career, but I see a lot of ability in him. He's tailor-made for the ballpark he pitches in. That's for sure.
"No matter how good you are, you're going to lose one-third of your games. No matter how bad you are you're going to win one-third of your games. It's the other third that makes the difference." ~Tommy Lasorda
Can't win with 'em
Can't win without 'em
"Boys, I'm one of those umpires that misses 'em every once in a while so if it's close, you'd better hit it." Cal Hubbard