The scariest thing for any professional hitter is the realization that you can’t catch an opposing pitcher. Sometimes a guy is just throwing too hard, and even when you time it up just right, you can’t seem to get enough of it. It’s that creeping dread that you get when you realize that no matter how good you are, you just aren’t going to be good enough.
That’s the usual emotional reaction I’m assuming hitters have when they face down Emmanuel Clase. Whether it’s a bit of the old juice or just pure talent, Clase has proven to be one of those pitchers that just puts fear into a man’s heart. His ability to surpass 100 MPH on a radar gun is very rare, even in modern-day baseball.
As a reliever, he isn’t bound by the same limitations as a starter has to worry about. A starting pitcher has to worry about conditioning and endurance. Making sure he can stretch his start as long as he has to. Taking a little off a pitch here or there. Not Clase though, when he comes out of the bullpen, it’s just him, throwing as hard as he can as often as he can.
He may not see many batters in a given game, but those who see him know exactly what to worry about.