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Pitcher Preview: Mike Pelfrey vs Scott Kazmir

Pelfrey and Kazmir could be a lesson in how not to pitch, or it could be a pitcher's duel of the highest quality.

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Scott Kazmir 7-6 22 22 0 0 0 0 119.0 118 62 58 17 40 107 4.39 1.33

I like that Scott Kazmir has a job in Major League Baseball again. He's 30 now but felt like a busted prospect for the longest time, and to be honest I thought his career was over last year. Now he's posted strong strikeout numbers, has allowed just two home runs this season, and in spite of that 4.39 ERA is actually pitching fairly well. He's barely managing five innings per start, but all things considered that has to be a success for him.

His peripherals are somewhat of an oddity. We've already mentioned the two home runs allowed, which is strange considering he's not exactly a ground ball pitcher. Hitters also square up on him fairly often, with nearly 21% of balls in play being categorized as line drives - yet hitters are also posting a lowly .297 batting average on balls in play. Which basically confirms what we already know: when Kazmir pitches, anything can happen.

The best thing about his resurgence this season has been his fastball velocity, which now sits around 92 or 93 mph after averaging 86 in 2011. It's not the killer pitch we may have expected a decade ago, but it's far more effective not just in itself but in making his other offerings a bit better as well.


W-L G GS CG SHO SV BS IP H R ER HR BB K ERA WHIP
2013 - Mike Pelfrey 5-10 23 23 0 0 0 0 121.1 147 73 70 12 40 71 5.19 1.54

Pelfrey's been back on track his last two starts, allowing six earned runs in 13 innings. Certainly that's not great, but it's helped him to lower his ERA nearly a full run over his last ten outings. His biggest issue has been command, which at times hasn't necessarily been about the walks as much as it's been about a lack of command in the strike zone. He looks good when he's on, but if he's not it can be a real struggle because he doesn't have an "out pitch".

A good start today would give Pelfrey his lowest ERA his his first appearance of the year. Let's go Pelf!