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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Yus Your Illusion: Yusmeiro Petit and the Well-Hidden Power of Pitcher Deception

Petit threw an 89.1 mph fastball that got Angels infielder Jack Mayfield to tap a 73.2 mph groundout to third. He struck out Brandon Marsh swinging on an 82.7 mph changeup. Then he tossed a 77.6 mph curveball that induced David Fletcher to send a 49.7 mph popup into the catcher’s glove. Petit had held the lead in an eventual A’s victory, and he’d done it without ever quite touching 90 miles per hour. In the process, he’d demonstrated an understated and underrated skill that may soon be baseball’s next coveted commodity.

As Petit completed the competent, easy-to-overlook inning, Angels TV analyst Mark Gubicza—who pitched for 14 seasons in the majors, as has Petit—became the latest in a line of flabbergasted baseball people to marvel at the righty’s trademark trick, which has helped him thrive in the big leagues for far longer than expected for someone who throws as softly as he does.

“He hides the baseball so well,” Gubicza said. “You’re at the plate and you see a pitcher hide the baseball, keeping that front shoulder in, and you see the baseball out of the hand and you’re thinking, ‘OK, it looks just like a fastball.’ Changeup! … If you have the baseball out in your hand, if you’re not as deceptive as Petit is, you can at least see the grip. … But when you’re hiding the baseball and all of a sudden as a hitter you’re reacting to seeing the ball, it’s already out of the hand by the time you get a chance to recognize between a changeup and fastball.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: September 28, 2021 at 11:57 AM | 3 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: pitcher deception

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   1. CFBF is Obsessed with Art Deco Posted: September 28, 2021 at 12:59 PM (#6042130)
Good lord, Yusmeiro Petit is still pitching?
   2. GregD Posted: September 29, 2021 at 01:39 AM (#6042278)
And he’s only 36 years old!
   3. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: September 29, 2021 at 03:50 PM (#6042392)
Yus Your Illusion Won!
Yus Your Illusion, too!

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