Game 3: Phillies go for the series win behind new look Velasquez

Vince Velasquez makes start for Phillies
Vince Velasquez will start the series finale for the Phillies on Sunday against the Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. The right-hander has refined his changeup and added a cutter to his arsenal after finishing with a 4.91 ERA in 2019.

“A lot of guys were gearing up on my fastball,” Velasquez said earlier this week. “The big lefty guys would ambush fastballs in and everything was pretty much straight, so I wanted to find something that was more comfortable to throw in on lefties and away from righties. But also that slider, I just wasn’t developing a lot of confidence in it. I had a discussion with [assistant pitching coach Dave] Lundquist. I told him, ‘Hey man, how did you throw your cutter? How did you do this?’ I picked his brain a little bit, and then once we had our bullpens during the whole quarantine, I started utilizing it, started trusting it. I think it’s going to let me dial back in on my fastball.

"It’s just a matter of mixing speeds, changing eye levels and going from there."

Velasquez has teased in years past with electric stuff, but he's struggled to put all the pieces together to be a solid middle of the rotation starter. Perhaps this time will be different.

"Vinny is a worker and he’s going to work really hard and he wants it really bad, so I think it's his determination that has helped him make this adjustment," manager Joe Girardi said.

Jose Urena will start the series finale for the Marlins. The 28-year-old righty is coming off a fantastic camp with a matching 1.06 ERA and WHIP over 17 innings. He posted a 5.21 ERA last season, but pitched extremely well in two starts last year against the Phillies, surrendering just three runs over 14 innings.
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BY PATRICK GORDON
Managing Editor
pgordon@philadelphiabaseballreview.com

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