Originally Posted by DJ's left nut
Do you ever watch him pitch?
Mujica is absolutely hammering the black. He throws the splitter for strikes often enough to keep guys honest and then puts them away with it in the dirt. Hitters always have to respect the fastball, especially with 2 strikes, and the split/change dives so late that it looks like fastball until they start their trigger. By the time it dives out of the zone, they've already committed and they miss.
He throws his fastball about 40% of the time. He throws almost exactly 1/2 his pitches in the zone and draws swinging strikes on better than 1/3 of the pitches he throws outside of the zone. He is in the zone often enough and throws his fastball often enough that hitters can't simply spit on anything.
And Trevor Rosenthal? Threw only 45% of his pitches in the zone last year and is only at 49% this year.
Mujica throws more pitches in the strike zone than Rosenthal. Oh, and Rosenthal throws his fastball 84% of the time. So if all Mujica does is throw one type of pitch out of the strike zone...but actually throws it less frequently than your hero throws his primary pitch and does so more accurately, I guess the question becomes how Rosenthal could possibly keep it up?
Keep on trying...
I'm okay with Mujica getting the 9th. If he falters, its Rosenthal's job. Rosenthal has a much higher upside than anyone else left.