Friday, June 17, 2011

Gordon 'Clocks' First Win in Pinstripes

Time stood still for 32-year-old pitcher Brian Gordon as he made his Yankees debut on the mound yesterday. Gordon was good, not great--5 1/3 innings, two earned runs--and that's all the Yankees might've hoped for the guy who was previously pitching for the Lehigh Valley Ironpigs three days ago.

Gordon was an outfielder until five years ago, but didn't have Major League talent. So he tried his hand at pitching.

Bob Klapisch writes in the Bergen Record:

He asked the Astros to let him try pitching, reminding them he’d always had a strong arm, and used to feature an unorthodox curveball as a kid. Only, Gordon never tried to emulate the great, overhand 12-6 hooks of the game’s previous generation. Think of Doc Gooden’s vicious, late-breaking curveball, and you have an idea of what Gordon’s was absolutely, unconditionally not.

Yes, Gordon gets by without the classic, Barry Zito, "12-6" hook. That of course is a curveball that breaks top to bottom, as if from the 12 on the clock down to the six. (A curve that "drops off a table," as every announcer from 1975-1987 used to say.) It is similar to the "parachute changeup" wielded by the likes of Pedro Martinez and Johan Santana.

Gordon is probably more of a 12-8 guy, with a curve that breaks less dramatically toward the outside edge of the plate to righty hitters.
Yesterday, he took the place of Bartolo Colon on the hill. Colon, for his part, is more of a 7-11 pitcher--a body built on Big Bite hot dogs, corn dogs, and those delicious cream-filled Suzie-Qs.
[image: Bergen Record]

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