Game 3 matchup

October 04, 1997|By Peter Schmuck

Mariners' Jeff Fassero (16-9, 3.61)

vs. O's Jimmy Key (16-10, 3.43)

What Fassero throws: He is a power pitcher who throws a 94-mph fastball and a sharp breaking forkball. He also throws a changeup and an occasional curveball, but gets a lot of ground-ball outs by changing speeds with the forkball.

Fassero of late: The 34-year-old left-hander won eight of his last 11 decisions, dating to July 27. He pitched well in September, giving up three runs or fewer in all six of his starts.

Something to look for: Fassero makes his living at the bottom of the strike zone and below, but he'll come upstairs with his fastball to strike people out. If he's getting a lot of ground balls early, he's on his game and will be very tough to beat.

What Key throws: Key is a classic finesse pitcher who throws a medium fastball, controls his breaking stuff very well and was rated as having the best changeup in the American League in Baseball America's "Tools of the Trade" rankings.

Key of late: Key won just two of his final seven starts and had a difficult time at Camden Yards during the second half. He won once in his last nine home decisions, but did pitch well at Oriole Park in a victory over Cleveland on Sept. 16.

Something to look for: Key does not have top-range velocity so he cannot afford to pitch in the center of the plate or high in the strike zone. If the ball is showing up in those areas, it probably will start showing up in the bleachers.

Pub Date: 10/04/97

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