AJBurnett34 Posted September 16, 2003 Share Posted September 16, 2003 Pavz has done a great job in the starting role....check out this article on him. Pavano gets less attention, produces more results By Harvey Fialkov Staff Writer Posted September 16 2003 Maybe Carl Pavano's easy-chair pitching style doesn't elicit quite the attention that a rookie phenom with a funky delivery does. His sinking fastball doesn't threaten triple digits on radar guns or frighten batters into submission as a tall Texan teammate does. Emotional displays and nipple rings aren't his thing. Using finesse, control and a scientific approach to his craft, the laid-back Pavano has quietly assumed the workhorse mantle that every successful pitching staff needs. Along the way the swarthy Connecticut native is putting together a breakthrough season. And tonight the 6-foot-5 right-hander steps from the shadows into the spotlight as he faces Vicente Padilla and the Phillies in the opener of a crucial three-game series at Veterans Stadium. It's easily the most important start of his nondescript six-year career as the Marlins cling to a 1?-game lead over the Phillies for a wild-card berth. "He quietly goes about his business," center fielder Juan Pierre said. "Everybody's talking about Dontrelle [Willis]. [Josh] Beckett, he's the Next Coming. [brad] Penny throws real hard. Pavano's just a nice mix in there. "I think some teams might be lackadaisical after facing Dontrelle or [Mark] Redman. He lulls guys a little. ... Without him, I don't think we'd be in the position we're in." Pavano, 27, has shattered career marks in nearly every category. At 11-11 with a 3.96 ERA, Pavano leads the club with 184 innings while allowing the fewest walks among Marlins starters (39), which averages to 1.9 walks per nine innings. That's the fourth-best ratio in the National League. Perhaps the most telling statistic is that Pavano leads the Marlins with 20 quality starts (three or fewer runs in at least six innings). In five of them he allowed one run or less but received no-decisions. "That's not only my goal, it's my job," said Pavano, who will be eligible for arbitration next season and could merit a hike from 1.5 to $2.5 million. Take away a 25-7 beating in Boston on June 27 in which the Red Sox battered him for six runs in the first inning, and Pavano's ERA would be 3.67. In his following start, he shut out the Phillies over 62/3 innings. "Did I pitch in Boston? I thought I threw live batting practice in Boston," Pavano said. "Not to get any outs is pretty humbling. It's how you bounce back in the trenches, how you get through the valleys during a course of a season." After being drafted out of high school in Southington, Conn., by the Red Sox, Pavano was traded to the Expos for Pedro Martinez, a trivia question he doesn't need to be reminded about. He flashed signs of stardom in his 41/2 years in Montreal. Then elbow injuries derailed his progress. When the new Marlins regime (former Expos owner Jeffrey Loria and General Manager Admin Beinfest) began to clean house last summer, Pavano was rescued from a Triple-A demotion and brought to Florida as part of the Cliff Floyd trade. "Ownership put a lot of confidence in me. I was coming off my worst year, and when I came over here I was [3-8 with a 6.3 ERA]," Pavano said. "I was battling everything. I put my injuries behind me and tried to figure stuff out." If Pavano were a statue, he'd be Rodin's The Thinker. He credits pitching coach Wayne Rosenthal for refining his delivery during countless hours of confidence-building bullpen sessions. "He's tough on himself, but he's not beating himself up anymore because everything's clicking," said Rosenthal, who first worked with Pavano in the Florida State League in 1998. "He wants to be mechanically perfect." Pavano believes a deceptive windup makes his two-seam, 91 mph fastball appear quicker. "For me, being 6-5, my delivery is the key as far as keeping the ball hidden as long as possible because my arms and levers are longer than someone like [Michael] Tejera's," he explains. "So, if I come out of my delivery too early, it takes away my deception. Without deception, it doesn't matter how hard you throw." Pavano has deceived plenty of hitters lately. He is 5-1 with a 3.15 ERA since the All-Star break and 2-0 over his past four starts with a 1.91 ERA. In two starts in Veterans Stadium, he hasn't allowed a run in 122/3 innings. Perhaps even the reserved Pavano might pump a fist tonight if he notches win No. 12. "Every night I'm coming out of the dugout like a maniac," Pavano said. "I get excited inside, but don't usually show my emotions on the outside. But this year has opened me up as a person and showed me a side I kind of like." Link Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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