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Cardinals v Cubs

Cardinal pitcher Jack Flaherty throws in the first inning of a game against the Chicago Cubs at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. Photo by Christian Gooden, cgooden@post-dispatch.com

QUESTION: Can you provide any insight into Jack Flaherty's midseason turnaround? Was there a change in his mechanics, or mindset. or ...?

GOOLD: Some, yes. There's the mindset aspect for sure. Seeing a lot more strikes. A lot more pitches in the zone.

What stands out to me is that he's using his stuff to dare hitters -- not tease them. What do I mean by that? Well, he's challenging the hitter to hit the pitch he's offering and he's doing so in the zone, over the edges of the plate. He's not trying to lure them out of the zone. Take a look at how he works over hitters with his slider and fastball. That get-ahead and then throw the slider outside the zone to get the hitter fishing isn't how he's doing it all the time now. He'll go in the zone. He'll trust that the hitter cannot do anything with it. Nothing. And so far he's right.