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My favorite Elite MLB pitchers in the game today

My favorite Elite MLB pitchers in the game today
Live Blog so please excuses type-o’s =) – Read more of Blogs on www.wickedgoodsportstalk.com
By Adam Mallet
In Baseball I consider there to be two kinds of dominant pitchers. The first type will just blow you away with heat, while the second type just knows how to trick you and make you look stupid in the batters box. I enjoy watching a pitcher take command on the mound. It is always amazing how some of these guys have developed a repertoire of pitches designed for certain situations and counts. Some might find watching a great pitching performance boring. However, I find it to be one of the most entertaining parts of a game when a pitcher is in the zone and locked in. These are some active pitchers in the MLB who I feel separate themselves from the rest of the herd and command a huge presence when they take the mound.
Clayton Kershaw – Dodgers
Pitch types in his arsenal:
4-seam fastball, Slider, 12-6 Curveball
I figured I would start with my favorite pitcher. Clayton Kershaw has some nasty stuff. Aside from a smoking fastball, he can also get you with one of the most impressive 12-6 curveballs that I have ever seen! It’s one thing to not be able to catch up to a 95+mph fastball but there is nothing more awesome than watching a hitter look completely in shock and lost when a pitch is coming in high only to watch it dip down into the strike zone for a called third strike. He has struck out over 200 batters each of the last three seasons and aside from his rookie season he has never finished with an ERA higher than 2.79
Justin Verlander
– Tigers
Pitch types in his arsenal: 4-seam fastball, Change up, Curveball
Verlander is a pro at getting hitters to chase pitches and look like they belong in the minors. He has great control and is awesome at getting ahead of hitters. His fastball has also been known to hit 100-mph on the radar gun from time to time. He is a very durable pitcher and has racked up over 200 innings pitched each of the last six seasons. When opposing teams face an ace, sometimes they try to “wait it out” by taking pitches to drive up the pitch count, in the hopes that the pitcher will run out of gas so they can then take there chances against the bullpen. However, Verlander doesn’t seem to let up! In fact, his velocity has been known to increase as his pitch count rises!
Mariano Rivera
– Yankees
Pitch types in his arsenal: Cut fastball, 4-seam fastball
Mariano is the only relief pitcher on my list. He has 600+ career saves ( and still counting) in a span of 18 seasons. That deserves some serious respect. The funny thing about Rivera is you know what’s coming. There is no mystery to his pitches. He relies mostly on a devastating cut fastball that looks almost impossible for hitters to connect with at times. He throws it with extreme confidence and pin point accuracy as if to say “no way you can hit this”
Felix Hernandez – Seattle
Pitch types in his arsenal:
Change up, Fastball, Slider
I feel like King Felix has been in baseball forever. However, he is still only 27 years old. How many 27 year olds have pitched a perfect game & won 100 games (and he did it on a crappy team) Hernandez started to blossom in 2009 and hasn’t looked back. Since then he hasn’t thrown less than 249 innings in a season and has struck out 200+ batters in each of them. His fastball has shown some decline in velocity but that doesn’t matter when you can keep hitters off balance as good as he can.
Cliff Lee – Phillies
pitch types in his arsenal:
Fastball, Cut Fastball, Curveball, Changeup
Cliff Lee is not a one trick pony. He has four very good pitch types. Not many pitchers throw as many pitch types as him and if they do I doubt they have the kind of control over all of them like he has. Most pitchers have one or two dominant pitches with a third that they throw sometimes. Lee’s command over all his pitch types is so good that anything could be coming your way. When a pitcher is capable of that, the outcome is very obvious. Hitters have trouble guessing what’s coming.
Andy Pettitte – Yankees
Pitch types in his arsenal:
Fastball, Cut Fastball, Slider
While Pettitte might not be as durable anymore due to his age (40) You can’t argue that he isn’t consistent when he takes the mound. He has been in the majors for 17-years and has a career ERA of 3.84 so he is obviously doing something right. He won’t over power you but his location is still very good.
CC Sabathia – Yankees
Pitch types in his arsenal:
4-seam fastball, Slider, Changeup, Curveball
I swear this report I’m putting together is not a Yankee love letter! You can’t argue with his constancy on the mound. Sabathia relies heavily on his change-up which he likes to establish his command with early in games. When he has that working for him it gives batters fits at the plate. He always seems to keep his team in the game. He can pitch deep into games and on short rest if needed while still be effective. Pitch counts don’t mean much to him either.
Adam Wainwright – Cardinals
Pitch types in his arsenal:
2-seam fastball, Change-up, 12-6 Curveball, Cutter
I’m surprised I don’t hear Wainwrights name a lot considering the tools and numbers he has. In 7 seasons he has a career ERA of 3.11 and his 12-6 Curveball makes hitters buckle at the knees. Wainwright is 31. Usually around that age pitchers are fully developed and what you see is what you get. However, Wainwright is still showing improvement.
Roy Halladay – Phillies
Pitch types in his arsenal:
Cutter, 4-seam fastball, 2-seam fastball, Curveball, Sinker, Change-up
You name the pitch type and Roy Halladay probably throws it. Like his teammate Cliff Lee, Halladay has many types of pitches he can use. He might be on the decline now. The guy has been in the league for 15-years! Give him a break but he is still someone I wouldn’t want to be up against.
These are just a few that stick out the most in my head. There are also others who I feel will achieve this status someday but I feel haven’t yet earned it. Stephen Strasburg, Geo Gonzalez, David Price are a few who should make the list one day. Some pitchers achieve this status by blowing guys away with fastballs, some achieve it by fooling hitters. It ultimately doesn’t matter how they get it done. It just matters that they do with incredible consistency
Adam Mallett
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