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'Wild Thing' to join FOX booth

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Ken Rosenthal

Ken Rosenthal has been the FOXSports.com's Senior MLB Writer since August 2005. He appears weekly on MLB on FOX, FOX Sports Radio and MLB Network. He's a member of the Baseball Writers Association of America. Follow him on Twitter.

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Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams knows pitching, having chalked up 192 saves in 11 seasons in the majors. He’ll be in the FOX booth with Joe Buck and Tim McCarver for Game 1 of the NLCS between Philadelphia and San Francisco. He talked to FOX Senior MLB Writer Ken Rosenthal about the series, especially the highly anticipated pitching matchup of Roy Halladay and Tim Lincecum.

Q: What impresses you most about Roy Halladay?

A: His ability to control the opponent’s bat speed better than anyone in the game. He never throws two pitches in a row with the same velocity or to the same location. He takes away the hitter’s ability to get on his back side and let it rip. You can’t sit on any count or any pitch. You just can’t do it. There is no such thing as a cripple count when Roy Halladay pitches.

Q: How did Tim Lincecum turn it around?

A: I’ve talked about his head. In the game of baseball, where the head goes is where the body his going. He cocks his head really far to the left. In his first two years as he started down the mound, his head would come back toward the catcher. When he was struggling in August, I don’t think he got his head back there toward the catcher’s glove.

That’s what he’s doing now. That’s where the big bite on the breaking ball comes from, where the big finish on the fastball comes from.

I went through it. I threw across my body. He throws across his body.

The thing you have to guard against is peeling out with your head. You have to let the ball go before your head and body peels off. Once you let it go and you’ve done everything right mechanically before you let it go, it doesn’t matter if you burst into flames after that.

Q: Who is the crazier closer, you or Brian Wilson?

A: That I’m not sure of. I’ve never met Brian. But I can honestly say I’ve never dyed my facial hair. I’ve never had a Mohawk. I did have an ugly hairdo. As a closer, I don’t think you can be all there.

Mariano Rivera is probably an exception to the rule. He’s so calm and collected. Most closers are too ignorant to realize they’re in trouble. That’s the category Brian fits into, the same one I did. If you’re too dumb to know you’re in trouble, it’s a good thing.

Q: What is the key to the series?

A: It’s going to be the team that gets the big hit with two outs and runners in scoring position. That’s what this series will come down to. There is terrific starting pitching. It will come down to the starting pitcher who, with runners on first and second and two out, does not give up that hit. That’s going to be the team that wins.

Q: Your pick?
A: I’m picking the Phillies in six. They haven’t even hit yet. They swept the Reds and have not hit a thing, really.

Tagged: Phillies, Giants, Roy Halladay

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