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At about 1′47″ into the video linked below, it sounds like that the announcer says "Something to watch tonight is velocity, way down lacked command in his last start and he's a free agent at the end of the year." There are 3 parts in there, the part before "way down", the part after "and" and the part in between.

I understand "way" usually means "very much", so what does "down lacked command" mean? Does "his last start" refer to the first inning of his last game?

The link begins at 1′42″.

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You're parsing the English incorrectly. It should be more like:

Something to watch tonight is velocity: way down, lacked command in his last start

i.e.

  • The velocity of his pitches was significantly lower in his last start than typically.
  • He had little control (ability to pitch strikes rather than balls) in his last start.
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  • Thank you. Btw, does "his last start" refer to the first inning of his last game? – JJJohn Sep 24 '20 at 9:24
  • Add that into the question and I'll add it into the answer :-) – Philip Kendall Sep 24 '20 at 9:27
  • Updated, thank you so much! – JJJohn Sep 24 '20 at 9:30
  • "Last start" just refers to the last game he started, without any particular reference to the inning or innings in that game. – chepner Sep 24 '20 at 12:51
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    Correct. Even he is removed immediately after that pitch, he is still the starter, and any other pitches are coming into the game in relief. There aren't many (if any) rules that distinguish between a starter and a relief pitcher, though; the distinction is mostly relevant in determining how various statistics are calculated. For example, a starter can only earn a win if he pitches at least 5 innings. – chepner Sep 24 '20 at 21:35

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