Dontrelle Willis demonstrates why Josh Hader’s delivery baffles hitters

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Dontrelle Willis explains how Josh Hader's unusual release point confuses hitters and makes him an incredibly effective relievers.

- So we always hear lefty on lefty, why that's such a-- get in here. Get in here, Big Papi.

- Oh, I got him in the book, too. I got him in the book!

- Now show us what you mean.

- Well, first of all, he starts from the first base side, and you can see-- you can see Big Papi and you see my arm angle and see where I start at. And as soon as I turn my back, now he sees my whole back. He doesn't see where the baseball's coming from and he doesn't see where my arm angle is going to come from.

As soon as he comes out, now the baseball is behind his head. So now he doesn't know if that pitch is going to hit him, if that is going to be inner half or outer half, and it puts him on the defensive And that's why you see a lot of defensive swings and strikeouts facing Josh.

- Do you agree?

- I totally agree with him.

- He should! I got him in the book. He should. I got him in the book.

- Tell them what happened next. I totally agree because, you know, I mean, you have Harden-- he throws so hard.

- Right.

- I mean, and then now you've got the angle. He look like he's going to the dugout. He look like he's going toward the dugout, and then his arm go even farther. So now, as the left-handed hitter, you feel like you got to open up to try and catch up on that pitch. But now, the pitch middle away, you got absolutely off. No chance, no chance.

- Yeah, no chance.

- And it's 97 from that guy.


- How about a right hander, Alex?

- So for the folks at home, we talk about lefty and righty splits. If you look how comfortable Big Papi sees his right hander, you saw the difference of what D-Train showed you. Now this is the difference here. You see the ball right up here.

- For a long time. Now he can see the arm angle, he can recognize the pitch, he can get his right-- and now, as these big hitters want to do, they can give a high leverage swing and they're not guessing they're not on their heels.

- So for Papi, there's a big difference of seeing the ball 60 feet, 6 inches versus 30 feet, and that's the big difference of why Papi-- he crushes everybody. But most of all--

- He hit a double off me after the next at-bat, though. He had a double off me the next at-bat.

- Well, let me ask you this. So, OK, look, Hader's going to be a factor in this series. I don't see any way he's not a huge factor. But for the Brewers, the factor today is the entire bullpen. They're going with the opener today.

Frank, Brandon Woodruff will start. He was a starter in the minor leagues a couple of games, but he's a bullpen guy. So he's going to go one, maybe two innings. Do you like the idea?

- Not at all. I like normalcy. I told you guys that earlier. Bring in a bullpen guy that hasn't started all year presents problems. The team's looking at this going we've got guys who can get us to the third or fourth inning.

But the bottom line is you're facing a hot team in Colorado. Had to fight for their life two straight games. I like Colorado to jump on them today early because of that.

- Where's Wade Miley in this equation? He's been the most consistent starter you had in your rotation. He threw last Saturday, so he's on regular rest. He only threw 53 pitches. If I'm Wade Miley, I'm like what's going on here?

You've got to continue to ride your horses and keep the bullpen intact because that's why they've been successful. It's going to be tough to have multiple guys have clean innings. And if they watched that Oakland A's game last night, it exposed that bullpen, it overstressed guys, and it's really, really tough to get 27 outs, especially in a big league game.

- And I agree. If this is the NFL and it was one win, great idea. If you trying to win 11 and be a world champion in October, get rid of the gimmicky idea. As a matter of fact, take all the sabermetrics guys, put them on a plane, send them to the Bahamas.

- Put them on your plane! Put them on your plane!

- And let the two-time world champion, Craig Counsel, make the decision that makes sense. I'm with you, Frank. Normalcy's good in October.

- Is this working, Papi?

- I'm going to tell you, I never pitched before, but I know the routine that a starting pitcher had.

- Absolutely

- And to be honest with you, to me, bullpen guys are guys that come into the game to face situations related to the game at the time. But a starting pitcher, they had a preparation absolutely different than bullpen guys.

So for a game like this one, you want your starting pitcher to have the day to watch video, to get prepared, and come into the field later than everybody else and be ready to go. Bullpen guys, that's a little different, so I don't agree with it.