The Mets' lefthanded-hitting Lenny Harris (right), a 14-year veteran and the career leader in pinch hits among active major league players, lists the six nastiest pitches to put into play when coming off the bench.
1. Indians righty closer Bob Wickman's slider. "It's hard to pick up out of his delivery," Harris says. "He hides it well, so you have almost no time to react."
2. Padres righty closer Trevor Hoffman's changeup. "I'm always geared up when I pinch-hit. I want the fastball. But this guy's changeup looks just like his fastball."
3. Giants righty closer Robb Nen's slider. "His fastball is deadly. Then you get the ball with rotation and the bend in it. You look up and see the scoreboard calls it a slider—but it's going 97 [mph]. Damn!"
4. Astros lefty closer Billy Wagner's fastball. "Straight gas. I admire that: 'Here it is. Hit it.' "
5. White Sox righty setup man Antonio Osuna's cutter. "I'm not sure what it is or what he calls it: cutter, slider, fastball. I call it a tough pitch to get the head of the bat out on."
6. Mets lefty setup man John Franco's sinker. "The ball dies before you get to whack it. What's more, he never gives you anything on the plate."