The Braves knew what was coming Tuesday night. Everybody now knows what's coming from the major league leader in saves. When a pitcher has 34 saves in little more than half a season, a book is going to be written on him pretty quickly.
The Chad Cordero book says he likes to throw fastballs on the first pitch. Not that Cordero plans on changing much. He is, after all, a fastball pitcher.
"It's the pitch I have the most confidence in," he said Tuesday. "It's the one I have control of best."
He is not comfortable falling down 1-0 and 2-0 in counts, so his approach is often to get one or two strikes before throwing a slider or change-up.
The problem is that hitters start waiting on the fastball, as the Braves did Tuesday, smashing Cordero's first three pitches in the ninth inning.
"It depends on where you throw the fastball," Braves Manager Bobby Cox said. "If the first-pitch fastball is on the corners, that's a lot tougher to hit."
And for much of this year, Cordero's fastballs were hitting the corners rather than passing over the middle of the plate, as they were on Tuesday.
"I might have to change it up a little bit but I'm not going to go away from the fastball," he said.
"Why do you have to change because of one ballgame?" Manager Frank Robinson asked. "Down the road if it's becoming a problem, maybe. Closers are going to lose games. What do we say about pitchers? What is their best friend? Strike one? He tries to get ahead of hitters."
Guillen's Hand Is Feeling Better
Jose Guillen held up his right arm, the one so bruised after being hit by a pitch on Sunday that he was certain he wasn't going to be playing this series against the Braves.
"Look at my hand now," he said, "it looks like nothing happened to my hand. I was supposed to miss a week."
He said when he was hit he was sure the wrist was broken. Even after the doctors told him it wasn't fractured, it was so swollen he didn't know how he could play. But he said the doctor put a powder on the injury, and the swelling disappeared to the point where he played the first two games of this series without any problems.