Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Maestro Sutcliffe Tunes Up Cards Pitcher Starts to Find Himself, Grading a vs. Class A

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Maestro Sutcliffe Tunes Up Cards Pitcher Starts to Find Himself, Grading a vs. Class A

Article excerpt

The buzz around the main field was more noticeable than usual. Wide-eyed young ballplayers, not involved in one of three games being contested at the time, gathered around the chain-link backstop to watch, wonder and learn.

It's not every day a Cy Young winner pitches at the Busch Complex.

"Any time you get to watch someone that experienced, someone who knows as much about his craft as he does, your interest perks up," said Mark Newman, a New York Yankees minor-league instructor. "That's what he is - a master craftsman."

Newman was supervising the Class A Tampa Yankees and he was commenting about the pitcher for the Class A St. Petersburg Cardinals - f the Year in 1979 and an NL Cy Young winner in 1984, came to the Cardinals' minor-league complex for fine-tuning Wednesday. The travel back in time was special for both - Sutcliffe and the novice ballplayers.

"A visual example speeds up the process," Newman said. "His ability to locate, how he changes location and speed, how the pitch selection is not predictable by the count - those are the obvious things these young pitchers can watch that separates a pitcher of that stature from the ones we normally see."

And for young hitters?

"It's an elevated challenge," Newman said. "If one of them happens to get a hit off him, they're excited."

Few did. Sutcliffe worked five innings. He allowed a scratch hit in the first, then allowed three more hits and a run when he tired in the fifth. He struck out eight and walked only one.

The performance pleased at least two fans, who shouted encouragement throughout. Robin Sutcliffe, Rick's wife, and daughter Selby, 10, had sprinted across the parking lot to get to the field on time.

Class A spring training, or seventh game of the World Series, they want to be there.

"I keep score during the regular season," Robin said. "I've got scorecards from Class AAA. I've always enjoyed coming and watching him pitch. Someone asked me today how many baseball games I've seen. I don't know as far as all of his, but I know I've seen over 200 of his major-league games."

Perhaps no one is better qualified to critique her husband's outing than Robin Sutcliffe. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.