Brian Wilson Has a Filthy… Two Seamer


Swing, miss, get hit in the butt.

Brian Wilson threw this pitch.

It started in the strike zone, going, oh, about 95 miles per hour, and ended up in the dirt behind Jamey Carroll. Strike three.

Is this fair?

Strange thing, though, even though Wilson has talked about adding the pitch, he’s not throwing it a ton. At least, not enough to show up on either pitch f/x classification system on this site. In fact, it doesn’t show up on most classification systems.

They can be forgiven – Wilson’s regular fastball does move a lot anyway. Take a look at Joe Lefkowitz’s Pitch f/x tool and it says that Wilson threw nine fastballs and five sliders that evening. But those fastballs weren’t all created equal. Check out the the fastballs that showed the most movement, those last two blue dots on the left. Those fastballs moved 11 inches horizontally. He threw three fastballs that also moved about 11 inches vertically. His average fastball has been moving about six inches horizontally and seven vertically, so we’re zooming in on that filthy, filthy pitch now. He might have thrown as much as three of them that evening.

One final picture to help bring this home. You see that blue box on the bottom right corner of this strike zone plot? That’s the pitch, at least where it crossed the plate.

To recap:
1) The pitch moved double digits vertically and horizontally.
2) The pitch left his hand at about 95 MPH.
3) The pitch started in the strike zone, belt-high, middle-ish.
4) The pitch crossed the plate at the very bottom, very inside corner of the strikezone.
5) The pitch ended up behind the batter, about knee-level.

That’s gotta go on some leaderboard as one of the filthiest pitches ever.

H/T: Grant at McCovey Chronicles



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With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here or at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris.


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This chart only shows 2008 on, when he wasn’t that good anymore, but Scot Shields had the filthiest two seamer I’ve ever seen. I don’t know if I’m reading this right, and the chart doesn’t differentiate between four seamers and two seamers, but it looks like most of his fastballs moved at least five inches horizontally, and the range was about five to fifteen inches, with most in the 8-9 inch zone.

I’m an Angels fan, so I’m biased by the fact that I watched him pitch a great deal. He almost always threw it to the first base side of home plate. He had a real knack for making lefties back out, only to be rung up for strike three, and he appeared to be equally effective at getting strike three called on righthanders with that pitch.

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