Hot GIF: Ubaldo Jimenez, 99 mph Splitter?

UPDATE: Pitch F/x savant Mike Fast confirms what our better selves suspected — namely, that the above is not a splitter. Still, it’s 99 Sexy mph. And Brad Hawpe has no idea what’s happening.

The footage you see here is from the bottom of the sixth inning of last night’s Rockies-Padres game.

According to the Pitch F/x data (pitch id #321), this is Ubaldo Jimenez striking out Brad Hawpe on a 98.7 mph split-fingered fastball with 4.2 inches of arm-side run and 8.8 inches of sink.

Per the Pitch F/x data available at the site (which you can access by clicking “Show Averages” at Jimenez’ Pitch F/x page), the league-average splitter is thrown at about 85 mph, with ca. 5 inches of run and 3 or 4 inches of rise. (Predictably, Jimenez’ version is a bit more intense: his averages are 89.1, 4.6, and 5.9, respectively.)

Whatever’s going on here, it’s obvious that some manner of misclassification has occurred — either by Pitch F/x for calling the pitch a splitter, or by science for suggesting that Ubaldo Jimenez is human.



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Crpls
Member

Hawpe’s reaction is great.

scout1222
Guest
scout1222

He is indeed questioning Ubaldo’s humanity at that moment.

Mike
Guest
Mike

Splitter? lol

2-seamer.

Big Jgke
Member
Big Jgke

Isn’t it just as likely this is an average velocity (for him) yet still filthy four-seamer?

Resolution
Guest
Resolution

though I guess anything is possible, it would be odd if it was a standard 99mph 4-seamer that had 8.8 inches of sink

AustinRHL
Member
AustinRHL

Jimenez seems to throw a lot of pitches that have unbelievable movement on them, enough that you wonder how anyone could possibly make contact with them. I’m kind of surprised that he has “only” 8.1 K/9 for his career.

Brad Johnson
Member
Member

That pitch doesn’t “look” like his splitter. The movement on it is smoother like a filthy two-seamer (like someone else suggested). His splitter usually starts out looking like that sinker and then dives down a rabbit hole.

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

Dumb question but how can you tell how much sink a pitch has by looking at pitch f/x?

Mike Fast
Guest
Mike Fast

I’m not sure if you’re simply asking where to find the data or for an explanation of what the PITCHf/x data means or how it is acquired.

But if you want to know where to find the data, BrooksBaseball.net is a great place for that. Dan Brooks pulls the data into a set of graphs for each pitcher for each game. There are other sites where you can view (TexasLeaguers.com) or download (JoeLefkowitz.com) the data for larger time periods.

If you want to see the raw data itself on MLB’s Gameday site in XML format, you can go here:
http://gd2.mlb.com/components/game/mlb/year_2011/month_06/day_07/gid_2011_06_07_colmlb_sdnmlb_1/inning/inning_6.xml

Matt C
Guest
Matt C

Sorry I was asking how you could tell? Is it just the horizontal movement on the pitch(with a negative being a sink)? That’s what I originally thought but I’m just kinda confused by it because since I’m a Tigers fan I tend to look at their pitchers’ f/x’s alot and I see that Verlander has quite a bit more negative movement on his fastball(especially the 2 seamer) than Porcello but Porcello is the one that is supposed to have the strong sinker.

Matt
Guest
Matt

Wait, how does the league-average splitter have 3 or 4 inches of rise? I thought splitters were supposed to drop…

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