July 11, 2007

Biophysics: always coming in handy

The Providence Journal has an article about the current brainiac of the Sox farm system. Despite the reporter being impressed by his use of his word 'elucidate' it is fairly encouraging. Craig Breslow is a Yale Biophysics and Biochem major currently titrating* himself up the pitching ranks.

“In molecular biophysics,” he said, “you deal with methods of elucidating structures of proteins through such means as x-ray crystallography and spectroscopy. In biochemistry, I studied organic processes on a molecular level — things like DNA replication and genetics.”

Um, OK, Craig.

What say we talk about what pitches you throw.

“I have a ‘slurvy’-type slider I throw to lefties,” he said, “and a cut fastball I throw to righties. I have a big overhand curve I use to try to steal strikes. My best pitch is my changeup.”

So far this season, Breslow’s array of pitches has been almost as baffling to batters as molecular biophysics.

Going into last night’s game, the 26-year-old lefty had an earned-run average of 1.59 in 25 relief appearances covering 39 2/3 innings. He had given up just 30 hits while striking out 48 and walking only 9. He had a record of 1-1, with one save, and hitters were batting a mere .208 against him.

“For four years,” he said, “I studied with some of the most brilliant minds in the world. Now, I’m having fun playing baseball. When I get here (to the ballpark), I’m all baseball. If I keep pitching well, I’ll have a job in baseball.”

And if he doesn’t, he can put that Yale degree in molecular biophysics and biochemistry to good use.
Wow! That's my plan too. Hey Red Sox organization, I'll be a few miles from Pawtucket next year, and I've got at least a foot on Pedroia!

Bonus Biophysics Joke: Why is this guy such a good pitcher? Well imagine a tiny spherical cow...

*This is definitely the wrong use of this word, but we don't have to know about such things in cosmology.