Welcome to this week's edition of Kicking and Screaming, a Walkoff Walk introduction to Pitch F/x. Today we examine two great World Series starts.
The 2009 version of the Fall Classic has already yielded two classic pitching performances. First Cliff Lee and then A.J. Burnett turned in gems this week in the Bronx, in their own unique ways. Lee's known for his incredible control and ability to throw strikes with any one of his four pitches. A.J. is famous for his electric fastball and one of the best curveballs in the game; his Hammer of Doom.
Lee's outing utter domination of the Yankee bats is due in large part to his ability to mix his pitches. He kept the powerful sluggers from keying on any one pitch by moving the ball around the plate and changing speeds. Burnett, once known as more of a thrower, relied on his fastball as always but kept the Phillies at bay by working well to both sides.
Below I've tracked the first two pitches thrown to each batter by Lee and Burnett during their initial runs through the lineup. Not the movement of the pitch itself, but the change in location from one pitch to the next. Did they "change the hitters eye-level" as Tim McCarver loves to claim? Did they pound inside early to set up soft stuff away late? Find out after the jump!