One year after cancer, Chad Bettis is winning with every pitch

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While some of his peers collect wine for a hobby, Colorado Rockies starter Chad Bettis is partial to nursing a glass of single-malt Scotch whiskey in his free time. He has about 70 bottles of Speysides, Islays and Highlands in his collection, and when he isn't pitching, preparing for his next start or recovering from his latest outing, he's happy to discuss the ins and outs of his favorite hobby.

Did you know, for example, that it's advisable to tip the Scotch on its side every now and then so the cork doesn't dry out and break off into the bottle? That's one thing he has learned through authentic jerseys

Bettis, 29, is equally at home standing on a mound and throwing a baseball. Like the finest samples in his archive, he has a classic sense of timelessness about him.

In an age of gas blowers who light up radar guns at 96-100 mph, Bettis is easily distinguishable. He wears his socks high in the manner of the old-time hurlers, and he relies on a four-pitch mix, an economical approach and the time-honored philosophy of pitching to contact. His average 90.0 mph fastball velocity ranks 76th among 91 qualifying starters, and his 5.51 strikeouts per nine innings are 86th on that list.220

Pressed for a historical comparison to Bettis, Rockies manager Bud Black settles on a stoic and durable New York Yankees favorite.

"He's Mel Stottlemyre in the '60s,'' Black said. "He could have thrown in any decade.

"Of 150 starters out there, there aren't many of them like Chad. He's a classic throwback to generations, which I've come to appreciate and respect. So much in this day and age, we talk about velocity. We talk about strikeouts. We talk about stuff. His stuff is good -- don't get me wrong. But there are different degrees of what stuff means. There's enough velocity. There's movement. There's change of speeds. There's up, there's in, there's down and there's away. Chad pitches, which is great.''

Bettis' success this season is heartening for a number of reasons. He's a former second-round draft pick out of Texas Tech who threw in the mid-90s upon arrival in professional ball and has gradually had to reinvent himself to compensate for diminished velocity. nfl authentic jerseys cheap He is also an inspiration to baseball fans who like their sports heroes on the resilient side.

When Bettis takes the mound Thursday night against the San Francisco Giants, it will mark the anniversary of the first day of the rest of his life. On May 16, 2017, he underwent the last of several treatments for testicular cancer. He received his initial diagnosis in November 2016, had surgery to remove one of his testicles and endured three bouts of chemotherapy the following spring and summer, once the disease spread to his lymph nodes.

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