NY Sports Dog: Ron Darling Sees and Explains Mike Pelfrey's Flaw

Monday, March 29, 2010

Ron Darling Sees and Explains Mike Pelfrey's Flaw

I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon watching the Mets.

To be fair, I did get up early and "spring clean" my entire backyard, and there are about 25 bags of junk next to the house to prove it. I also found a huge snake in the yard, which I put in a bucket and transported to a nearby woods vice killing.

But I digress.

The main reason I got up early to my work in, was so that I could watch Mike Pelfrey get his work in.

My work was done better.

Mike Pelfrey continues to struggle, especially in the giving up homeruns department.  I've been very puzzled as to why Big Pelf is giving up the flyballs and homeruns at such an alarming rate, and I chalked it up to rust or confidence, etc.

Then Ron Darling mentioned the grip, and everything clicked as to why Pelfrey has fared so poorly.

Pelfrey's fastballs were coming in laser straight and up, at times, with a nary a bit of sink to them. The issue has been there all spring.

Ron Darling, the thoughtful broadcaster who has forgotten more about pitching than most of us will ever know, told us why...and then we could actually see why for ourselves.

Darling pointed out that Pelfrey has worked hard on a splitter.  He then gave us some real insight by telling a story about his own development of the pitch. He spoke about muscle memory and how his finger's got so used to being separated that it was hard to get them to go back together. This resulted in his former bread and butter pitches not performing like they had before he worked on the splitter.

It was really riveting stuff, especially as he correlated the story beautifully to what's going on with Mike Pelfrey. As the cameras panned in on Pelf's fingers, we could actually see the separation (now that we knew exactly what to look for), and when they were apart, as Darling mentioned, the fastball came in straight. When the finger's were in the proper position, back together, the sink was back.

For a Sunday spring training game in March, it was some of the best on the spot analysis I've ever heard.

I'm sure Dan Warthen and Mike Pelfrey are aware of what's going on, and thanks to Ron Darling, the rest of us are too.

I just hope they get the issue resolved, and soon.
Reblog this post [with Zemanta]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Darling is the best. He would be a heck of a pitching coach.

Related Posts with Thumbnails