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.