Cole Hamels‘ three-pitch strikeout of Justin Ruggiano during the first inning of Monday night’s Phillies-Marlins game (box) in Miami isn’t more significant than most other three-pitch strikeouts, except for that (a) it occurred on three consecutive changeups and (b) it occurred in front of the very excellent Miami center-field camera, itself particularly well-suited to capture the movement of Hamels’ changeup and (c) the author happened — for some reason that no know one really knows — the author happened to be watching the game in question.
Also, because it’s rather late and managing editor Dave Cameron doesn’t know I’m posting this, is another reason why I’m posting this.
(PITCHf/x data courtesy Brooks Baseball.)
Velocity: 88.2 mph
Movement: 11.8 in. gloveside, 9.6 in. rise*
Note: Though this was classified as a changeup by the PITCHf/x algorithm, it would not be shocking — owing to its velocity (faster than Hamels’ normal change) and movement (rise-ier than his change, too) — to learn that it was a two-seam fastball.
*”Rise” relative to a spinless ball, that is. A normal fastball has about 8-9 inches of rise, owing to the backspin imparted to it; a normal change, about 4-5 inches.
Velocity: 82.6 mph
Movement: 8.1 in. gloveside, 5.9 in. rise
Note: This pitch looks hit-able for a moment, but turns out probably not to be.
Velocity: 82.9 mph
Movement: 7.7 in. gloveside, 6.9 in. rise
Note: This is the very well-conceived location of Hamels’ third pitch (click to embiggen):