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September 27, 2013

C.J. Wilson blames slippery baseballs for control issues

Angels left-hander C.J. Wilson, who has never been shy about not taking responsibility for his poor starts, blamed his wild third inning on a batch of baseballs that hadn't been properly rubbed down. He went so far as to suggest that it might not have been by mistake that he had to use those balls.

Here's a transcript of his postgame remarks, courtesy of the Orange County Register.

"One out of every four was rubbed, and three of every four was basically brand new. The balls were kind of squirting around. A couple balls got away. If you’re a lefty and you hit a lefty with a slider, that’s obviously not what you are trying to do right there."

Are you going to call it a coincidence? It’s not a coincidence. Let’s be honest.

You just make adjustments and try to figure out what pitches are going to work and what pitches aren’t going to work. After the first three innings I settled down a little bit and had better command of the four-seamer and changeup and two-seamer. You can’t throw awesome sliders because you are sweating too much and nothing is working. After the third inning I just pitched with my fastball, which oddly enough was better.

I got out of all the jams with fastballs.

I don’t know. All I know is that every couple balls, 'Oh this is a good one.' I’d have a little grip and they’d foul one off and the next one came out and it was like no, no, no. We changed more balls than we would normally change.

Baseball is a game of adjustments. They aren’t going to call time out. I’m not going to stall, but sometimes the ball is not in condition to play baseball with. So I use some rosin and sweat and grind some grip onto it.

The best pitchers are able to make adjustments very quick, and that’s why some of those guys win Cy Youngs and some don’t.

I told the clubbie, 'Dude these balls are getting really bad. Someone might get hit in the teeth.' My ball moves a lot already. When the ball is slippery it’s even worse.


Manager Mike Scoiscia also chimed in, though with nearly the same amount of whine as Wilson.

"We had a couple of baseballs that still were taken right out of the box, still had packing dust on them. They weren't rubbed up at all. So, C.J. just had to do a little more work on them to get them prepared. He didn't say the grip was any issue, but we had a number of balls that came back that they may have taken the paper off and put them in the box."



-- Jeff Wilson


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