2013-05-31 / Sports

Pitcher’s Delight

By Gerard Gilberto

The two broadcasts of Tuesday night’s, May 28th, Subway Series game will teach what you need to know about pitching.

The stage was set by a 90 minute rain delay and once the weather cleared the spotlight pointed to the Citi Field pitcher’s mound.

New York Mets’ ace Matt Harvey took the start against the Yankees’ numberone Hiroki Kuroda. Time to pull a chair up to the television and take notes.

On a night where Mariano Rivera was being honored by his cross-town rival in his final year of professional baseball, two great pitchers put on a clinic in the presence of other New York pitching legends. David Cone and Al Leiter were in the broadcast booth for the Yankees, while Ron Darling carried a dialogue with Dwight Gooden on the SNY feed. Gooden, Cone and Leiter each spent time playing for both the Mets and Yankees.

The match-up pit two completely different pitchers against one another. Despite their differences, Harvey’s power and Kuroda’s finesse resulted in two very similar pitching lines. Harvey went eight innings, striking out 10 with one run earned, and Kuroda lasted only seven innings with seven strike outs, but did not allow a run.

This game proved to be a great jumping off point for anybody interested in learning the complexities of a pitcher’s mind and strategy throughout the course of a game. Credit this to the analysts and television broadcasts but there was no better place to find this type of information.

Gooden, the 1984 phenom for the Mets when he was a 19 year-old Rookie of the Year, sat in a perch five rows from the backstop telling the SNY broadcasters and all home-viewers his thoughts on Harvey and Kuroda’s next move. Gooden sees a lot of himself in Harvey and though not ready to admit any desire to be president of his fan club he can regularly be found in attendance at most of Harvey’s starts at Citi Field.

Cone, Leiter and Darling provided more insight on the intricacies of Kuroda’s outing. The trio shared more similarities with the sinker-baller Kuroda and provided some pitching tips for somebody that doesn’t have Harvey’s 98 mile-per-hour fastball in their arsenal.

It was expected for this game to be a pitcher’s duel and the two hurlers did not disappoint. Kuroda found himself struck by what Harvey has been going through all season: brilliant outings with a horrifying lack of run support.

The Mets’ depleted roster was a decent match-up for the Yankees’ injurystricken line up. But, Harvey blinked first and allowed Brett Gardener to score in the seventh and the Mets were down 1-0 heading into the bottom of the 9th where Rivera would make his final pitching appearance in Flushing (not considering July’s All-Star Game).

The Mets honored Rivera in the beginning of the game by allowing the alltime saves leader to throw out the first pitch to the Mets’ all-time saves leader, John Franco. It was ironic to watch Mo throw both the first and last pitch of the ballgame, but not before some late-night heroics.

The Mets ended up winning on a walk-off hit by Lucas Duda in that inning, counting as Rivera’s first blown save of this season. Though it was the opposite of indicative of the first-ballot Hall of Famer’s career, it did prove to be the only source of disappointment on a night that was filled with New York pitching greats.

E-mails, questions, suggestions? Email gerard.gilberto@yahoo.com.

Gerard Gilberto is a new summer intern covering sports for The Wave.

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