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The Bleacher Bums: April 5, 2005 Archive

Right down the middle, Brad

Posted at 12:24 PM on April 5, 2005 by Bob Collins

Brad Radke really paid the price for the Pohlad skin-flint years. He was elevated to 'ace" at an early age and never had the veteran in the rotation to teach him how to pitch.

That's why I always thought it kind of odd how people would look at his ball-to-strike ratio and say, "gee, that's really good."

The guy throws strikes, and that's not a good thing because the point isn't to throw strikes (contrary to the cliche). The point is to get the batter to do what you want him to do.

I swear Greg Maddux hasn't thrown a ball over the plate in 10 years, because he understands that a ball over the plate is a bad thing. He wants it to APPEAR to be heading over the plate when the batter commits.

Radke's a good guy and all, and he's a decent pitcher. But he's never going to be a true #1 prince-of-darkness ace because every batter knows the ball is coming over the pla

When you look at the guy's BB/K ratio....20-something walks a year and 160-something strikeouts...you really should be better than 11-8, 14-9 etc. I mean, the guy has played on a team that has won three straight division titles, and yet he's won 9, 14, and 11 games.

He's not a bad pitcher, but aces should win more than 9, 14, and 11 games. They should be winning 16, 17, 18 games with great consistency.

Baseball Reference's list of most similar pitchers, I think, is dead on target.

Charles Nagy
Pat Hentgen
Shane Reynolds
Kevin Tapani
Dick Ruthven
Bob Purkey
Jon Lieber
Mike Krukow
Pete Donohue
Pedro Astacio

That's the list 1-10. Each of those guys was good, occasionally, very good. But I don't think "great" qualifies and can you win a series without a great ace?

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