Dodgers outfielder Carl Crawford uses just any old bat when he faces Mariano Rivera. The more rickety and age-worn, the better.
He knows there’s a good chance his bat — and his at-bat — will be doomed by what many consider the most devastating pitch in baseball.
Rivera’s cut fastball, or cutter, is often the only pitch hitters see when facing the New York Yankees closer. It’s a pitch that he throws almost exclusively, its late movement as it approaches the plate shattering bats and hitters’ hearts alike.
Why waste good wood on that?
“I don’t use the same bat that I’ve been playing good with because chances are real high” it’s going to get broken, Crawford said with a chuckle. “So I just take an old, cheap bat that I don’t really care about and try to stay as short as possible” with the swing.