about harden’s spluckler or spluckle
[quote]A’s catcher Jason Kendall calls it a forkball. Seattle Mariners slugger Richie Sexson recently called it a “ghost pitch.” Adam Melhuse, Kendall’s backup, has the most creative name of all: Spluckle.
“Because it’s not just a splitter,” Melhuse said Friday. “A splitter just drops straight down at the end. Rich’s knuckles out of his hand and floats around and then drops. It’s a splitter that knuckles. It’s a spluckle.”
And it doesn’t always drop straight down at the end, either.
“That’s from the knuckling action,” Melhuse said. “It’ll drop straight down sometimes, but it’ll drop down and in sometimes, and it’ll drop down and away sometimes. It makes it tough to catch. Half the time you’re just trying to knock it down.”
Harden shrugged and smiled when asked about the pitch, which he grips with the ball tucked much deeper between his fore and middle fingers than do most pitchers who throw splitters.
“I don’t care what anyone calls it,” he said, “as long as the umpires call it a strike.”