I hadn’t seen much of CLE SP Corey Kluber until last night. Was aware of him of course as a top line #1 starter the last 3 years.
He struck out 8 of the first 9 guys he faced last nice. Good stuff….
He’s a 6’ 4” righty that throws pretty hard, and he throws from a high ¾ release, and he throws a 2 seamer. 2 seamer as opposed to 4 seamer…. With 4 seam fastball you hold that with one of the horsehoe seams nestled into the creases of your index and middle finger, and seams are perpendicular to fingers. That way, you let go and all 4 seams are spinning with back spin in the direction of the pitch. Ballistically it’s a stable pitch in the air and it gets to the plate fastest of any other way by a difference of say 3-4 mph.
So 2 seamer, you hold with fingers on / parallel to the seams in a spot where they narrow together. You give up, as noted, 3-4 mph usually, but the ball doesn’t ride on such a straight line, and for some guys it ‘sinks’ more assertively. IE, sinker.
Kluber’s 2 seamer doesn’t sink all that much, it’s just got a lot of life… he’s not inducing ground balls, he’s striking guys out. Also has a great breaking ball that’s too fast to be called a curveball and too slow to be a slider but is not one of those sloppy slurve hybrids.
We’ve seen this before… he’s same as Max Scherzer, basically. The morphology is tall-ish righties who throw hard, throw a burrowing 2 seamer, but strike guys out rather than induce ground balls. It includes Kluber, Scherzer, Roy Halladay, Kevin Brown… you go back, Bob Gibson, probably Don Drysdale.
So, not rare by any means… but given this style’s potential for effectiveness it’s not obvious to me, from reading, that it’s got a name, and that anyone ‘teaches it’ to suitable candidates like they usually try to teach righthanders to be classic overhand with 12-6 curveball.