On July 8, 2000, Doc Gooden earned his first win at Shea Stadium since 1994. Charlie O'Brien describes what it was like catching Gooden in the early 1990s:
I was excited the first time I caught Dwight. I had worked with Teddy Higuera, our ace in Milwaukee, who had Cy Young Award caliber stuff. One year, I caught Teddy, and he won twenty-one or twenty-two games. He should've won the Cy, but he was hosed out of it. Even so, Dwight was a notch above. He threw real hard. Liked to challenge guys with his fastball, especially those free-swinging power hitter types. His fastball got to the plate in a hurry. He could throw ninety-five, sometimes ninety-eight miles an hour. Electrifying. Threw up and in the zone a bunch. Hitters had a hell of a time catching up with the ball -- his arm was just nasty. Few guys could throw as hard. On top of his fastball, he also threw a good curveball and changeup. Dwight was another high pitch count guy with lots of 2-2 and 3-2 counts. This was because he threw high in the strike zone. Some guys swung and missed, but some guys would take these pitches, and some would be called balls. That meant that Dwight would have to throw more pitches. When I played with him, I wouldn't call him a control pitcher. I think he refined his control once he went over to the Yankees and mastered his mechanics, knowing that he couldn't rely on power alone. Even so, with the Mets, he wasn't a big walk guy.
Excerpt from The Cy Young Catcher (Texas A&M University Press, 2015).
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