He throws a fastball that averaged 90.5 mph this year, according to fangraphs.com. He also goes to a cutter, curveball and changeup, although he hardly threw the cutter this year. He likes to watch pitchers similar to him before a start and how they have approached the lineup he’ll face.
“Just find a righty with low 90s that has a changeup,” he said.
Hellickson stressed during his press conference at Tropicana Field yesterday that he is glad the regular season is behind him.
“I can’t really dwell on what I did in the regular season too much,” he told reporters. “It wasn’t my best, but I get another chance (today).”
Opposing Hellickson will be Red Sox right-hander Jake Peavy, who Boston added at the non-waiver trade deadline and who has not had success in two previous playoff starts, allowing a combined 13 earned runs in 9.2 innings. One of those starts came in 2005. The other was in 2006. But Peavy said he feels healthier now than he did back then.
A former NL Cy Young winner, Peavy has something to prove in the postseason. This is a good time to prove it.
“He’s intense, he wants to win, he has great preparation,” Red Sox catcher David Ross said about Peavy. “He’s got the background, the resume of a winner.”
Today, will go along way in showing whether he is a true winner because this is a huge game.
Follow Christopher Smith on Twitter @SmittyOnMLB