Gagne's got the most devistating off-speed pitch in baseball right now. It drops off the table from 12 to 6 like nothing I've ever seen. He makes major league hitters look absolutely, embarassingly, ridiculous when they try to swing at that thing, especially when it follows a perfectl placed 98mph heater. It's a sight to behold in person.
He seems a little less effective this season, but I think that's because he's had bigger leads when the balls been handed to him this season. He's never been effective if he has wiggle room. I'll get back to that point later. A lot of people say he has had no test under pressue, and that his only one (the All Star Game), he blew. Firstly, to judge anyone by their performance at the All Star Game (even if it "counts"
is patently ridiculous. He's facing nothing but the best hitters in baseball. He doesn't have his normal routine. And, most importantly for Gagne, it's an exhibition game and he's simply not going to put his best stuff out there. Idiotic home field advantage questions aren't worth that.
And that's the real key with Gagne. To be effective, he has to be able to get on the mound and put everything he has behind every pitch. That's why he was a complete failure as a starter. If he has to/is in a position to keep something in the tank, he gets shelled. That's why he's not as effective in a 3 run game as he is in a 1 run game. That's why he's awful when they put him in in a tie game in the 9th. But when he's in there and absolutely needs to get the guy in front of him out, that guy is out, guaranteed. I think he will relish the playoffs. From what I've seen, the more pressure he has, the better he pitches.