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Peter Carry
July 15, 1968
Cleveland's Luis Tiant used to have a problem with what ballplayers call "lollipops"—those soft pitches batters find so sweet to hit. In four major league seasons, Tiant, who looks like Brooklyn's Don Newcombe and can throw just as fast as Newk ever did, strayed from his hard pitches often enough to keep him from winning more than 12 games. This year is different, and everything the 5'11", 194-pound Cuban throws at hitters is sour. Tiant has already won 14 games, pitched a league-leading seven shutouts and run up the league's best ERA of 1.24. Although his greater reliance on his zinging, rising fastball has been mostly responsible for his success, Tiant, who has always had a varied repertoire of deliveries, has helped himself by adding a new touch to his style. The cigar-chomping 27-year-old is using a copy of Satchel Paige's "hesitation pitch" that twists his body away from the plate and leaves his face looking skyward just before he throws. This delivery hides the ball from the batter until the instant it is released and has a psychological effect as well. Says one outfielder, "It has to be disturbing. Luis seems to be looking at the moon, and all of a sudden the pitch is by you." In the past Tiant frequently tired toward the end of games. He now runs laps in the outfield on off days to build up his endurance. Last week, to show that he has given up his bad habit of throwing late-inning sucker pitches, he fanned three in the 10th as he shut out the Twins, striking out 19 in all. Added to 13 strikeouts in his previous win, he set the major league record for strikeouts in two consecutive games with 32 and the nine strikeouts in the game before that tied him at 41 with Sandy Koufax for three games.
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July 15, 1968

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Cleveland's Luis Tiant used to have a problem with what ballplayers call "lollipops"—those soft pitches batters find so sweet to hit. In four major league seasons, Tiant, who looks like Brooklyn's Don Newcombe and can throw just as fast as Newk ever did, strayed from his hard pitches often enough to keep him from winning more than 12 games. This year is different, and everything the 5'11", 194-pound Cuban throws at hitters is sour. Tiant has already won 14 games, pitched a league-leading seven shutouts and run up the league's best ERA of 1.24. Although his greater reliance on his zinging, rising fastball has been mostly responsible for his success, Tiant, who has always had a varied repertoire of deliveries, has helped himself by adding a new touch to his style. The cigar-chomping 27-year-old is using a copy of Satchel Paige's "hesitation pitch" that twists his body away from the plate and leaves his face looking skyward just before he throws. This delivery hides the ball from the batter until the instant it is released and has a psychological effect as well. Says one outfielder, "It has to be disturbing. Luis seems to be looking at the moon, and all of a sudden the pitch is by you." In the past Tiant frequently tired toward the end of games. He now runs laps in the outfield on off days to build up his endurance. Last week, to show that he has given up his bad habit of throwing late-inning sucker pitches, he fanned three in the 10th as he shut out the Twins, striking out 19 in all. Added to 13 strikeouts in his previous win, he set the major league record for strikeouts in two consecutive games with 32 and the nine strikeouts in the game before that tied him at 41 with Sandy Koufax for three games.

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