Mariners blog Lookout Landing thinks that King Felix might have made “The Leap” from a very good starter to a great one. The difference? An excellent changeup against left-handed hitters:
For much of 2006 and 2007, Felix was dogged by an inability to consistently retire lefties, a function of (not exclusively, but primarily) an inconsistent change. Today he really had it working. He threw it 22 times – 17 times for strikes – and of the 15 swings, seven missed and only one put it in play. Felix was doing a great job of either burying the change low or putting it off the plate away from the batter, with terrific results. If this keeps up, then that’s it, he’s made the leap. End of story. He’s already murder on righties. If he’s truly discovered the secret to throwing an effective change, then that gives him four pitches he can throw in any count to any hitter, and that’s…that’s game over is what that is.