NEW YORK -- Pitching coach Rich Dubee and Antonio Bastardo both were confident that the recent pitching woes of the Phillies lefthander could be a thing of the past.
Dubee said before Friday’s game at Citi Field was postponed and rescheduled as part of Saturday’s split doubleheader, that Bastardo was apparently tipping his pitches.
For his part, Bastardo said his finger was too straight when throwing his slider and that wasn’t getting the proper rotation.
So all is well now it seems.
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Or is it?
What if that isn’t the entire problem? One has to wonder if fatigue is getting the better part of Bastardo.
In his previous 10 appearances he is 1-1 with a 6.75 ERA in eight innings. What is a little alarming is that in those eight innings he has issued eight walks (with 11 strikeouts).
So whether he is tipping pitches or not, Bastardo has to do a better job throwing strikes. He seemed to think that he will get better movement on his slider now that the flaw was pointed out.
Bastardo wasn’t sure if he was tipping pitches or that his slider had gone flat or a combination of both
Keep in mind that even with his slump, Bastardo still leads N.L in opponents batting average (.133). He is 6-1 with a 2.22 ERA and a 0.86 WHIP.
Those are staggering numbers, especially since he is in the middle of a slump.
Bastardo seemed relieved that a flaw was detected but until he goes out and proves himself in consecutive appearances, there still has to be some doubt.
That is why these final six games are important for him to regain the confidence that has made him one of the National League’s most effective relievers for most of the season.