C.J. Wilson: Analyzing The Rangers' World Series Game 2 Starting Pitcher

C.J. Wilson will be taking the mound for the Rangers in Game 2 of their World Series showdown against the Giants. To help get you ready, we offer the following scouting report.

Vitals

6'1, 215
Left-handed
204 innings
3.35 ERA
7.5 K/9
4.1 BB/9

2010 Playoffs

18.1 innings, 9 runs, 8 walks, 13 strikeouts

Last Start Summary

Wilson started two games against the Yankees in the ALCS. In the first, he was effective. In the second, he was not. In Game 5 - which the Rangers lost - Wilson allowed six runs in five innings of work, and five in the first three. His command was terrible, and his location was all over the place. He only threw 48 of his 93 pitches for strikes. Wilson's stuff isn't good enough to allow him to constantly fight from behind in the count, and the result was that he become entirely too hittable. The Yankees blasted him in a start to forget.

Repertoire

Wilson's a complicated guy with a complicated arsenal. First and foremost, he starts off with the obligatory fastball, which sits in the 89-92 mph range. Complementing Wilson's fastball is his cut fastball - a similar but different pitch that hangs a couple ticks slower. For offspeed stuff, he does throw a changeup reasonably often, and that's in the low-80s. Finally, we've got breaking balls, and Wilson has two of them. Most often, he'll throw a slider in the low- to mid-80s. Less often, but still often enough, he'll spin a curve in the mid-70s. C.J. Wilson hasn't always been a starter, but he's always had the weapons.

Facing Righties

Wilson's game against right-handed hitters is guesswork. The pitch he throws most often is his fastball, but he barely throws that 40 percent of the time. He'll mix up every one of his pitches and lean fairly heavily on his cutter. The further ahead he is in the count, the less often he'll throw straight heat, and the more often he'll slow it down. He prefers to keep his changeup down and away. His breaking balls generally end up in the middle of the plate, or further down and further in. He'll throw his fastball and cutter all over, and isn't afraid in the least to come inside and bust a hitter on the hands.

Facing Lefties

Like many of his peers, Wilson's a left-handed pitcher who just eats up left-handed hitters. His changeup becomes a non-factor. He cuts the usage of his cutter in half, relative to his at bats against righties. He'll usually get guys started with a fastball somewhere around the other half of the plate. If he gets ahead, he likes to either jam a guy inside with heat, or get him to chase down and away. If he falls behind, he'll try to throw another fastball over the outer half. His breaking ball becomes more of a weapon when he's pitching for a strikeout. Most any inside pitch will be a heater.

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