Discussion

The leftovers tell us a lot from Game 2

Updated: October 30, 2009, 2:59 PM ET
By Buster Olney
It has been a World Series of pitching so far, with the inevitable umpiring controversy sprinkled in. Some leftovers from Game 2:

  1. Mariano Rivera is a legend because of the weapon that is his cut fastball, the pitch that veers in on the hands of left-handed hitters. Almost without exception, no matter the opposing hitter, he has looked to bury his cutter inside against lefties at some point.

    But for the first time I can remember, Rivera carefully worked around a left-handed hitter in a big spot, doing everything except throw his cutter inside. Chase Utley had homered twice in Game 1 with his frighteningly quick swing, driving fastballs into the right-field stands, and in Game 2, he came to bat against Rivera with the potential tying run on base.

    So you figured Rivera would throw cutters inside, right? Pitches that threatened Utley's thumbs, right?

    Wrong. Rivera pitched to the outside corner the entire at-bat, throwing his four-seam fastball and his cutter, and from pitch to pitch, Utley probably kept waiting for that cutter inside -- instead, he wound up reaching for a pitch over the outside corner and grounding into what was called a double play.

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