Monday, April 12, 2010

Eephus Hernandez

There is something quite elegant about a noodle 12-6 curveball that registers 63 on the radar gun and sorrow in the score book for all those foolish enough to swing at it. The modern day Eddie Harris, Livan Hernandez left in all on the field, including his fastball. After leading the NL in innings and batters faced three straight seasons, the Nats set him free to pursue a playoff birth (the trade netted Garrett Mock and Matt Chico). Livan then became more of a punchline that a pitcher, culminating in 2008 by getting hit more than those topless Miley Cyrus pictures. Of course, Rizzo went and rescued him from the Mets after he shut the Nats down twice.

How he does it?

It is really hard to say.

Unlike most pitchers, the key probably lies within his ability to get four hittable pitches to work at such vastly different speeds. It takes a patient hitter to lay off a 64 mph strike. He also waits to add that fourth pitch in the second and third time through the lineup, giving the hitter one more thing to think about.

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