One reason why I watch most baseball games with sound off is because the TV analyst (usually an ex-player) uses way too many cliches. I’m about to use one of the most overused cliches in baseball, but it’s the only way I can describe Tsuyoshi Wada: He just knows how to pitch.
On Sunday Wada had a no hitter after six innings despite not having overpowering stuff. His fastball sits 89-90 mph and can touch 91. That may not sound impressive but he was missing bats with it and, most importantly, the Oriole batters were not squaring him up. The reason why his fastball is so good is because he can run it in and away and change speeds; in other words, he keeps batters off balance. He only allowed one hit against the fastball, a home run to Steve Pearce, that on which he missed his location by a lot.
He also features a changeup, curveball, and slider. On Sunday he threw mostly fastballs and changeups, which is unusual because normally throws more curveballs. He has the best feel for the changeup as he can throw it any situation, which allows his fastball to play up. The fastball can be a little flat, which means he’s going to be a fly ball pitcher and, therefore, will be at higher risk of allowing home runs.
Wada doesn’t have high upside, but his floor is relatively high. At the end of Sunday he has a 2.56 ERA, which is unsustainable, but I can see him being 3.20-3.35 ERA with a sub-1.20 WHIP and enough strikeouts to make him a must start in 12-team mixed leagues because of how good his command is and how good the Cubs defense is.