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  1. Interesting! Nobody’s more predictable than Mariano, though, who throws the cutter all the time and to the exact same spot!

    Comment by Ellis — September 17, 2010 @ 1:06 pm

  2. It’s so nuts he can whiff 12 per 9 doing that. Unreal.

    Comment by The Duder — September 17, 2010 @ 2:27 pm

  3. What about Wakefield?

    Comment by Nixon — September 17, 2010 @ 2:36 pm

  4. Wakefield throws the Knuckler around 83% this season and for his career. Although he has 2% of pitch XX…which could be a knuckler?

    Wakefield also possesses 2 other options, rather than just a slider.

    (all numbers courtesy of this lovely site)

    Comment by Matty Brown — September 17, 2010 @ 2:48 pm

  5. Wake’s pitch selection is predictable; his pitches are not.

    Comment by Aaron — September 17, 2010 @ 3:38 pm

  6. I believe Wakefield also throws 2 different types of knuckleballs. Not sure if that applies to Thornton’s fastballs.

    Comment by Matt — September 17, 2010 @ 3:44 pm

  7. Could also be having a tough time separating Wakefield’s fastball from his change up and what not.

    Comment by Erik — September 17, 2010 @ 4:18 pm

  8. Thornton does – “Completely unhittable” and “maybe you’ll get lucky.”

    Comment by MikeS — September 17, 2010 @ 4:53 pm

  9. I recall Jim Thome catching up to a Thornton fastball a few weeks ago…

    Comment by Lucas — September 17, 2010 @ 7:10 pm

  10. Wakefield doesn’t throw a change up. He throws knuckleballs, curveballs and fastballs.

    Comment by DavidB — September 17, 2010 @ 7:30 pm

  11. You’re right, it was majestic and awe inspiring, even to a White Sox fan. He also gave up a big hit in the all star game to lose home field advantage for the AL. Leaving aside whether he was hurt, overextended or not when he faced Thome, do you really think that makes him less than an elite reiever? Even the untouchable Mariano gets touched every now and then. I remember being at a game at US Cellularr field when Konerko lined a cutter off the foul pole to tie a game a few years back. And I remember a world series game in the desert that the Yankees didn’t win even though he was on the mound.

    When you pretty much only pitch in high leverage situations you are going to get your heart broken every now and then. I’ll take Matt Thornton most days and most days, I’ll come out ahead.

    Comment by MikeS — September 17, 2010 @ 9:58 pm

  12. “fastballs”

    Comment by Trebecois — September 17, 2010 @ 10:42 pm

  13. I find it interesting that his first-pitch strike rate and his swinging strike rate are both comparable to Carlos Marmol, who this year has settled on about a 40/60 split between fastballs and sliders. The swinging strikes for each pitcher are just about 15%, while they both are getting a first pitch strike right around 60% of the time. Thornton’s contact rate is 10 points higher, but he’s only hitting the zone a few percentage points more often than Marmol, despite the latter throwing so many more breaking pitches.

    Comment by Dann M — September 18, 2010 @ 1:33 am

  14. http://www.ussmariner.com/2006/03/20/bye-bye-matt-thornton/

    Classic Dave Cameron article.

    Comment by PG — September 18, 2010 @ 4:50 am

  15. It was also Thornton’s second inning of work after already being extended for quite some weeks.

    Comment by Daniel — September 18, 2010 @ 2:23 pm

  16. The comments section was just as good.

    Comment by Daniel — September 18, 2010 @ 2:38 pm

  17. They were right. One team got a bust of a prospect with fixable flaws and the other team dumped a bust of a prospect. I try to remember deals like this every time a GM does something that makes my head spin.

    Comment by MikeS — September 18, 2010 @ 5:13 pm

  18. So… How exactly does Thornton succeed do it?

    Comment by Marc — September 18, 2010 @ 10:56 pm

  19. Gas. A lefty reliever that throws . Hmm, reminds anyone of a Cuban sensation? I’ll bet his fastball has some late movement and possibly his delivery helps hide the fall. He’s also got his command worked out since he got traded and moved to the bullpen.

    Comment by dustygator — September 19, 2010 @ 5:52 pm

  20. The USSMariner article & comments are classic.

    That Kenny Williams sure is d-u-m dum.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — September 20, 2010 @ 2:36 am

  21. Lots of hitters can hit a strong fastball well when it’s centered in the zone. When it’s down or up or outside corner or in on the hands … not so much.

    Mo is the classic example. Some relievers are just “failed starters” (to use the popular phrase) because they have one dominant pitch. Better that then just 3 average or worse pitches.

    Comment by CircleChange11 — September 20, 2010 @ 2:40 am

  22. http://www.ussmariner.com/2006/03/20/bye-bye-matt-thornton/

    Comment by dave — September 21, 2010 @ 12:18 pm

  23. Where can I find pitch distribution numbers by count?

    Comment by John — September 22, 2010 @ 12:00 pm

  24. I was thinking about this article tonight as I watched Thornton strike out Napoli on a 3-2….slider!!!!

    Comment by JR — September 25, 2010 @ 1:13 am

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