Saturday, May 7, 2011

Effusive Praise for Jesse Litsch

He pitched like an animal. A wide-eyed Tiger killing machine. It was great.

Swinging strikes by the boat load. Ground balls a-plenty. Jesse Litsch pitched really, really well. No qualifiers or backhanded compliments. Real talk, as they (shouldn't) say.

Looking at his pitch selection, he may have used his four seamer more than usual. It is really hard to tell, which might just be Jesse Litsh's best weapon.

On the radio broadcast, Gregggggg Zaun mentioned Litsch was pitching backwards, working off his cutter with a four seamer the Tigers simply weren't prepared for. If that is true, and I have no reason to believe it isn't.

When Litsch can run the cutter off the outside corner then bust the FF back inside - he's really tough. When hitters give up on what they think is the cutter off the plate, only to watch a four seamer for strike three - he's even tougher.

According to Brooks Baseball, he didn't have any swinging strikes with his four seamer but he did have a high number of called strikes - unlike his slider which was nearly 50/50 between called strikes and whiffs.

Litsch handled the few lefties in Detroit's lineup nicely. He kept the ball in the ballpark and obviously struck out a career high nine batters.

I don't expect Jesse Litsch to go out and strike out 9 hitters every time he takes the mound. While he didn't deserve his early demotion he didn't pitch well in several starts - but last night he pitched beautifully.

If he is able to throw his four seam fastball as effectively as he did last night, there is no reason Litsch can't be a viable rotation option in the future. That's a lot of ifs — a lineup with more than two lefties remain a better test of his abilities — but I am officially impressed with Jesse Litsch's performance.

AP Photo courtesy of Daylife.

1 comment:

  1. +1. I didn't get to see the early innings, but even in the 4th and on he was keeping the ball dowwwwwn, something that he isn't always that consistent with.
    A thoroughly entertaining outing by Big Ginger.


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