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Schill Happy with 10 K Performance

A lot of good stuff at 38 Pitches the day after Curt Schilling fanned 10 Indians in Trot Nixon's return to Fenway Park. Schilling attributed a lot of his success to Sox pitching coach John Farrell:

Over the past 4 days I spent more time than usual with John Farrell working on things I know I am doing wrong and trying to fix. A few different times he's made those comments that just `click', and it works. I've always loved to talk pitching with coaches, you can never hear things too much, regardless of the topic. You might hear 500 ways to describe what it means to `hump up' and the 501st one you hear might be the one that makes you understand it. Everything about the delivery and throwing pitches is like that for me.

Needless to say he said some things that clicked for me and we spoke at length about the two biggest items on my `to do' list which were addressing the lack of command on the fastball and the fact that the split is not, and really has not been splitting for a very long time now.

Schilling said his splitter was back to top form during last night's victory:

First inning starts and it's clear that the 1997 version of my split has decided to show up. We end up striking out the side, all on splits, but working all three to deep counts. The bottom line was that the pitch was acting like it's supposed to, which is the goal. When that happens the command of the fastball is still a priority, but velocity becomes less of an issue.

Back story to the splitter. In 1998, middle of the season, I began to throw the split and at times it would sail wildly from right to left, like a huge cutter. It's an unhittable pitch but impossible to actually try and throw it. It would happen from time to time but was never predictable and never controllable. I didn't know why but a few times during the season it happened, and started to happen more frequently. The pitch also began to stop dropping as hard, instead it would float or just sort of softly descend into the strike zone. Throwing hard made that not such a bad thing because it would catch hitters off guard and freeze them when it happened with two strikes. I never knew why but around that same time I started to develop a natural cutter. I didn't want the ball to cut, it just did. For someone that relies on the ball being in an exact spot when it crosses the plate this is not a good thing. The cutter came and went, as did the split.

Schilling had kind words for his former teammate:

Trot strolls to the box and I step back to listen. He gets what he deserves as the fans get loud and on their feet. Trot was an exceptional teammate and he and his wife Kathryn are two of the better people you'll ever want to know. Deservedly awarded by the Jimmy Fund during the pre-game, it was great to see him get the ovation and them the recognition for being such great people and and great part of this city and team for his entire career.

I like this part, especially:

I know I am done as I walk off and the fans do too. I can hear and feel the ovation and can tell you it never ever gets old.