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  1. oh my god those pitches are sexy

    rock on mr. harvey

    Good job with the gifs, too.

    Comment by Frito Bandito — May 8, 2013 @ 2:37 pm

  2. These gifs are almost as awesome as Matt Harvey. Great piece, Drew.

    Comment by Mel — May 8, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

  3. That slider/fastball gif is just NASTY

    Comment by Brian — May 8, 2013 @ 2:40 pm

  4. This is just fantastic. Keep it up!

    Comment by Floyd Gondoli — May 8, 2013 @ 2:43 pm

  5. So beautiful…

    Comment by Ammianus Marcellinus — May 8, 2013 @ 2:46 pm

  6. On the strikeout sequences, could you put a number to indicate pitch sequence? Since gifs are continuous, it’d be nice to know where you are in the loop.

    Awesome post. Would love to see this treatment given to more pitchers. Hopefully Strasburg will throw some Strasburgian outings soon enough to warrant a piece, but, of course, Harvey is very deserving.

    Might also be interesting to see this treatment for lesser pitchers who have a great start and great pitchers who have a bad start. Just to examine what might have been different, if there’s anything there other than typical command problems and batted ball luck.

    Comment by cass — May 8, 2013 @ 2:53 pm

  7. Amazing work, Drew

    Comment by Jobu — May 8, 2013 @ 2:56 pm

  8. Agreed on the adding the pitch count to the GIFs – would be helpful.

    Comment by Incitatus — May 8, 2013 @ 2:57 pm

  9. .gif Heaven

    Comment by Jason — May 8, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

  10. I liked your experiment with the .gif of John Buck’s target. Very cool.

    Comment by George — May 8, 2013 @ 2:58 pm

  11. Yes, when actually viewing the post that occurred to me too. I don’t know if I’ll get a chance to go back and re-save everything to edit these ones, but I’ll definitely add it to my list going forward.

    Thanks for the ideas!

    Comment by Drew Sheppard — May 8, 2013 @ 2:59 pm

  12. this is basically porn

    Comment by y54y45y — May 8, 2013 @ 3:00 pm

  13. Welcome to Fangraphs, Drew! Great feature.

    Comment by Or Moyal — May 8, 2013 @ 3:17 pm

  14. It has the same effect, too. Or is that just me?

    Comment by Andrew — May 8, 2013 @ 3:25 pm

  15. I’m amazed at how his release point on both pitches in the second image is in exactly the same spot. The image gives the appearance of the ball multiplying into two baseballs on its way to the plate.

    Comment by AV — May 8, 2013 @ 3:27 pm

  16. That FB/SL combo meal is just unfair.

    Comment by l1ay — May 8, 2013 @ 3:42 pm

  17. what about adjusting the speeds of the different pitches in the overlay? where we can see the zip on a fastball compared to the slow drawl of a curve? It sounds difficult even mentioning it, but it’s a pipe dream.

    Comment by tfb — May 8, 2013 @ 3:47 pm

  18. This is absolutely amazing. Additionally, despite the number of amazing GIFs, there is zero slowdown on my mobile devices! Please teach Mr Sullivan your GIF magic so I may again enjoy his wit on the move!

    Comment by Persona non grata — May 8, 2013 @ 4:02 pm

  19. This is probably the most amazing thing I read today. Keep up the good work!

    Comment by MalinsDad — May 8, 2013 @ 4:03 pm

  20. Can you elaborate? I’m not quite sure what you mean. As is they are slowed down equally so the speed difference between them remains, but with a mid 80s curve it just doesn’t look as different as something like Darvish’s 60s curve.

    Do you mean slowing down a curve and speeding up a fastball even further? Or adjusting each pitch so that they arrive at the glove at the same moment regardless of speed? I’ve actually happened to do the latter already in testing but that emphasizes the movement arcs not really speed.

    Comment by Drew Sheppard — May 8, 2013 @ 4:04 pm

  21. In the first gif, it appears that Rios is stunned into an out-of-body check swing by the ghost of Alejandro De Aza showing bunt.

    Comment by steex — May 8, 2013 @ 4:05 pm

  22. Man, John Buck has quick hands!

    Comment by tz — May 8, 2013 @ 4:24 pm

  23. I’d love to see pitch overlay gifs for David Price and Jose Fernandez . . .

    Comment by PioneerSkies — May 8, 2013 @ 4:38 pm

  24. Great work. I could stare at the Darvish and Harvey gif’s all day. I think you, more than any single person before you, have perfectly illustrated just how ridiculously hard it is to be a major league hitter.

    Offseason project: A gif of Pedro Martinez, circa ’99/’00. I can only imagine what that would look like.

    Comment by HenduforKutch — May 8, 2013 @ 4:47 pm

  25. Lot of potential in these innovative displays. Not sure you should even be giving these away for free.

    Comment by Peter2 — May 8, 2013 @ 5:29 pm

  26. You could show Moyer versus Bryce Harper and show how hard it is to be a pitcher.

    Comment by Wobatus — May 8, 2013 @ 5:32 pm

  27. More of this….Lot’s more!!!!!

    Comment by Michael Ketchen — May 8, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

  28. gosh its great to have this guy on your best fantasy team … and as a mets fan.

    Comment by rotobanter — May 8, 2013 @ 8:51 pm

  29. Holy shit this is so goddamn awesome. Are you the one responsible for the Darvish gif? Brilliant.

    Comment by dtpollitt — May 8, 2013 @ 8:58 pm

  30. It’s like his arm is a shotgun

    Comment by adohaj — May 8, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

  31. Awesome article. So so cool to have baseball data viewed, digested, and re-presented. Awesome.

    Comment by GoateesOnly — May 8, 2013 @ 9:17 pm

  32. #porngraphs

    Comment by hmk — May 8, 2013 @ 9:22 pm

  33. That slider…. has the same release point and follows the same trajectory as the fastball for about half the way to the plate. Than it lands nowhere near the fastball.

    I’m a Mets fan who watched that game and it’s still shocking to see that gif.

    Comment by Franco — May 8, 2013 @ 10:28 pm

  34. It would be great to have a series on the best pitchers in the game and what makes each effective. Or a gallery of styles. Also a comparison for a pitcher like Felix Hernandez that would show how he has changed from a fire-balling rookie to the pitcher he is today, with both being effective.

    Comment by PackBob — May 8, 2013 @ 11:14 pm

  35. I think tfb is confused. The notion that a 12 mph difference between pitches is a large one (in terms of a batter’s timing) makes him think that the curve in the gif should arrive noticeably later than it does.

    Comment by Jay29 — May 8, 2013 @ 11:54 pm

  36. I like the offseason project idea.

    Nice job yet again, Drew.

    Comment by t ball — May 9, 2013 @ 1:01 am

  37. Awesome work Drew.

    Comment by doggie427 — May 9, 2013 @ 1:09 am

  38. I love that Drew is on here now–perfect match!!!

    Harvey is unbelievable. His motion is so smooth and he really could be effective just going fastball/slider but to add in more to that mix, oh lordie!

    Comment by RJackson — May 9, 2013 @ 3:53 am

  39. I had the same thought. I believe tfb, like me, was under the impression that the pitches in the first gif were all synchronized, rather than being shown at (a variation of) their actual speeds. However, it sounds like you’re saying they’re being shown with correct speed differentials. Visually, it doesn’t seem like it, as the curveball and fastball seem to be released and then received at the exact same times.

    Comment by Jon L. — May 9, 2013 @ 4:37 am

  40. I think you may actually be viewing very slowed-down versions of the super-speed gifs I see on my laptop.

    Comment by Jon L. — May 9, 2013 @ 4:38 am

  41. Great work here.

    As John Buck commented after Harvey’s Tuesday night game:
    ‘Matt made my job so easy. I framed my mitt for the pitch, he hit the spot just about every time.’

    Comment by srt — May 9, 2013 @ 9:57 am

  42. I literally laughed out loud in my office!

    Comment by Dave S — May 9, 2013 @ 10:03 am

  43. That one high fastball in the Buck gif sequence is just abruptly scary.

    Comment by Dave S — May 9, 2013 @ 10:08 am

  44. Yah he is.

    Comment by za — May 9, 2013 @ 10:58 am

  45. Fantastic article. In my 45+ years of baseball fandom, nothing has so clearly demonstrated how hard it is to hit (admittedly, superior) major league pitching like that second gif: the slider/fastball one. My, my, my. Thanks for this article. Please keep ‘em coming.

    Comment by Tristram Shandy — May 9, 2013 @ 11:17 am

  46. The pitch after Buck (the catcher) stands up is the first pitch. But yea, maybe a little longer frame on the last pitch would be enough to make it apparent.

    Comment by NateW — May 9, 2013 @ 1:01 pm

  47. They are synchronized from the the point of release (the closest frame available, which can slightly differ) so they should they maintain their speed differential.

    I can see what you are saying here, as with Harvey’s hard and harder pitch selection the difference is hard to pick up. From memory I believe the curveball arrives 4 frames after the fastball. The labeling may get in the way of this slightly, though obviously that has its benefits too.

    Slowing down the overall speed further would help make the difference more apparent. I’ll continue to tweak the effect, thanks all.

    Comment by Drew Sheppard — May 9, 2013 @ 1:40 pm

  48. Yes, the speed differential is apparent. I can actually see the fastball, then slider, then curve caught. I lose the change a little bit as the Buckmitt that catches it is really ghosty.

    Great comparison to say it won’t look as Bugs Bunny-esque as the Darvish loose deuce.

    Comment by Manic McReynolds — May 9, 2013 @ 1:52 pm

  49. How come nobody has talked about Shelby Miller’s outing that was actually better?

    Comment by Jeffrey — May 14, 2013 @ 9:48 pm

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