The footage you see here is from the bottom of the eighth of last (Tuesday) night’s contest between San Diego and Colorado. On a 1-1 pitch to Rockie rookie Chris Nelson, Padre rookie reliever Evan Scribner threw basically the dictionary definition of a yakker.
The pitch, according to Pitch F/x data from Brooks Baseball, was thrown at 71 mph, had 4.7 inches of glove-side run and 11.2 of drop — this, relative to the major-league averages for a curve of 77, 5.8, and 6.0. Scribner’s averages, for reference, are as follows: 71.1, 6.1, 9.8. In other words, he’s generally throwing it slower and, consequently, with more depth, than an “average” curve. He threw three on Tuesday, but this was the deepest by, like, four inches.
While it may or may not be the case that Scribner’s curve is actually effective in terms of getting outs in the majors, it’s certainly a pleasure to watch… over and over and over. Big, bending curves like his are, for me, the baseballing equivalent of a young Sophia Loren in that my first impulse is to try and make a baby with it. Beyond that, Nelson’s reaction adds to the pleasure of this tableau — especially considering that the pitch is called a strike.
It looks like Scribner’s currently throwing the curvepiece ca. 38% of the time now, so, if you’re watching a Padre game and he (i.e. Scribner) called upon, you’re more than likely to see him.
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