Tuesday, January 31 2023

By Rob Friedman, aka “Pitching Ninja”
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

As the playoff races heat up, so does the pitching.

And there’s plenty of heat in my filthiest pitches from this week!

1. Jordan Hicks’ mind-blowing, 101 mph two-seamer movement

I’m not sure what you do with this pitch other than hope that it’s a ball. Look at the absurd movement on this flaming two-seamer. 

I can’t imagine hitting this or, frankly, even catching it. My thumb would be in a million pieces.

2. Shane McClanahan’s incredible, 100 mph Wiffle ball fastball

Although Justin Verlander is the favorite, McClanahan remains in the hunt for the AL Cy Young Award. He has a ton of weapons in his arsenal, but nothing showcases his overpowering stuff more than this 100-mph heater. 

Look at the unbelievable movement on this pitch! 

3. Brady Singer’s frightening, front-door two-seamer

Singer has been pitching extremely well in the second half, and his success is due in large part to his two-seam fastball. 

This two-seamer is just plain cruel and made Ketel Marte contemplate his career choices.  

But that’s still not as bad as what happened to Marte last year, which might have been the all-time best “sword.”

4. The Human Glitch’s Frisbee 76 mph breaking ball

I dubbed Jimmy Herget the “Human Glitch” because of his unique throwing motion and the staggering movement he gets on his pitches. 

This slider broke two time zones. I think George Springer is going to need a longer bat.

5. (Tie) Brusdar Graterol’s absurd two-seamer 

No one embodies the term “effortless velocity” better than Graterol. He looks like he’s throwing batting practice while throwing pitches over 100 mph with amazing movement.  

Look at the silly movement he gets on this 100 mph two-seamer.

Here’s that same two-seamer with a ball trail (using the still frames of the baseball during flight). This trail helps illustrate the wicked movement on that pitch.

5. (Tie) Shohei Ohtani’s 97 mph turbo sinker

We all know about Ohtani’s unhittable splitters and sliders, which are two of the best pitches in baseball. However, Ohtani is ever-evolving and decided, out of the blue, to add a sinker to his already phenomenal arsenal. 

Of course, because it’s Ohtani, it’s not just a normal sinker. It’s an absolute weapon, despite the fact that he has been throwing it for only a couple of weeks.


A.J. Minter’s fall-ow through

Minter had a rough landing on this pitch but still threw a strike! I decided to match him up with Johnny Cueto’s fall mechanics, and the result is comic gold.

Adam Wainwright on routine vs. superstition

Wainwright discussing the important difference between routine and superstition while mic’ed up on Sunday Night Baseball is must-listen advice for any athlete.

Mad Max’s terrifying comebacker face

Finally, we all know that facing Max Scherzer is a nightmare for hitters, but watching Max’s face while he catches a comebacker is the stuff of nightmares for everyone! 

Rob Friedman is a pitching analyst on Twitter and YouTube, and his work has been featured on many Major League Baseball broadcasts.

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Source: FOX Sports


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