Brushing Up On Tim Wakefield


Si, the CornKnuckleballer.  The guy we once hoped Charlie Haeger might become.  Anyway, the knuck is pretty much all he's got outside of a fastball that barely touches 75 mph.  See graph:

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Hooray www.brooksbaseball.net graph!

 

A truly pandirectional pitch.  Any given knuckleball can apparently break however it feels like.  Perhaps in any one plate appearance the pitch tends to do more or less the same thing, but other than that I'm not sure what you should do as a batter.  Guessing obviously doesn't help.  And batters don't chase the knuckler that much anyway  The key to Wakefield's success, then, is getting it in the zone, which I'm guessing is something of a chore.  For his career, he's walked righties and lefties at about the same rate...but for whatever reason gives up far more extra base hits to RHB.  That's right, Wakefield has reverse platoon splits.  Is there nothing normal about the art of knuckling? 

To go for the kill, Ozzie needs to zero in on Wakefield's weakness and get all the right handed power he can find into the lineup.  Wakefield has given up about 5 runs per game over the course of his career and the Sox have some good right handers.  Getting back into the division race requires BHB.  Gavin wouldn't dare let us down.  In fact, it'd be nice to see both the Wonder Twins man up a la '08.

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