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April 8, 2012

Hector Santiago’s magical screwball

Filed under: Chicago White Sox — The Wizard @ April 8, 2012 8:30 pm
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Chuck Garfien:

The solution for Santiago was to learn how to throw a screwball, a deceptive and difficult pitch to master which breaks in the opposite direction of a curveball. Thrown by a lefty like Santiago, it goes from right to left, moving down and in on a left-handed batter, and down and away to a right-hander. Thrown properly, the ball can move as much as two feet.

Christy Mathewson was the first prominent pitcher to use the screwball in the early 1900’s. Carl Hubbell threw it in the 1934 All-Star Game when he famously struck out five future Hall of Famers in a row: Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, Jimmie Foxx, Al Simmons and Joe Cronin.

Fernando Venezuela and Tug McGraw later made careers hurling the screwball. However, in the last 25 years, it’s almost become a dinosaur — pretty much extinct from the game.

Why? …

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1 Comment »

  1. Change up is easier to throw, has more drastic of a speed difference, and is easier on the arm, I believe.

    Comment by Anonymous — April 9, 2012 @ April 9, 2012 10:25 am | Reply


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