While Barry Zito isn't the Zen master when facing the Marlins, he is making a name for himself. Now, Clayton Kershaw is hoping to do the same.
On the screen was footage of the Marlins from a game earlier this season against the Giants' Barry Zito. Kershaw chose this clip because he's curious to know how the Marlins stacked their lineup against a fellow southpaw and where the hitters stood in the batter's box.
One second Zito goes into his windup on a 3-2 count, and the next thing you know it's popped up and falls to rest in a fielder's mitt. It's chaos to the untrained eye, but within a second Kershaw internalized how Zito had the confidence to throw a breaking ball in that situation.
There is a difference between Clayton Kershaw and Barry Zito. Zito throws four pitches with about a equal regularity between his fast ball and breaking pitches. He throws his fast ball (86.4 mph) about 51% of the time, slider (80 mph) 18%, curve (73 mph) 15.4 % and his change (73.5 mph) 15 % of the time.
Kershaw on the other hand is, basically, a two-pitch pitcher. He throws a fast ball (94 mph) 75% of the time and a curve (73 mph) 17% of the time.
Granted Kershaw fast ball moves a lot and he has an excellent curve, but he also can have trouble getting them over the plate.
With Zito, the Marlins can't sit on anything. But with Kershaw they know, more than likely, they will be seeing a moving fast ball.
That is a big difference. How the results come out, we will know later tonight.