We thought that we had seen the last of it.
Garrett Richards showed us what it meant to stretch the limits of pitching mechanics.
Earlier this week, Marlins phenom Jose Fernandez did it again.
What happened today is completely unprecedented. Two pitchers on two different teams performed their personal rendition of what seems to be baseball’s newest trend. The Chicago Cubs were in Oakland facing the A’s. Cubs starter Travis Wood had held the Cubbies scoreless through 3.2 innings when Nate Freiman…approached the plate.
It’s unclear why Freiman felt the need to hop over home plate backwards into his stance. I’m gonna hypothesize that Wood’s equally strange delivery was some attempt to match Freiman’s odd maneuver. In a calm, smooth motion, Wood drops his glove straight down and flips a high fastball towards the plate. I’m also a little bit concerned by the catcher, Dioner Navarro, appearing extremely unprepared to receive the pitch until the last second. I can understand looking into the dugout to get a pitch called. However, in this special case of Wood’s unique delivery, I would hope Navarro looked a bit more ready to catch the ball.
Wood remained in the game and finished six inning of scoreless ball, striking out five and only walking one. In the top of the 8th, A’s right-hander Ryan Cook relieved their starter Dan Straily. Straily pitched a solid seven innings, striking out six and walking three while maintaining the scoreless game. The first batter Cook faced? You guessed it. Dioner Navarro.
Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa so much to comprehend…is Navarro mocking Freiman? Is Ryan Cook using The Force? This is simply amazing. Cook dramatically summons his Fourth of July cap to his skull while keeping an intense focus on his fascinating arm slot. He manages to hit his spot perfectly. Why was his hat on the ground in the first place? Had Straily dropped his hat on the mound the inning before and Cook decided to just use his? This one is very difficult to piece together. I love it.
Dear Major League Pitchers:
[…] must be something about Dioner Navarro that makes pitchers want to try something new. We’ve already seen Travis Wood and Ryan Cook pull out the backwards pitching method with Navar… This time it was Francisco Liriano who decided that a through-the-legs glove flip was the best way […]