The Objectively Most Glorious Pitches of the Week

Recently, the author introduced a nearly reasonable methodology for identifying the most glorious baseball pitches over any given interval of games. What follows is that same methodology applied to every relevant pitch since last Friday. Click here for more information on the definition of break. Click here for previous editions of the same exercise.

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Fastball
Pitcher: Hector Rondon, RHP, Chicago NL (Profile)
Batter: Jonathan Lucroy   Date: Sunday, May 18th
Velocity: 96.8 mph   Break: 6.0 in.

Footage:

Rondon FT Lucroy

More Different Footage:

Rondon FT Lucroy Slow

Other, More Different Footage:

Rondon FT Lucroy 2 Again Slow

Rondon appears to throw both a four- and two-seam fastball — a fact which undoubtedly creates some difficulty so far as PITCHf/x classification is concerned. According both to the present site and Brooks Baseball, however, Rondon is throwing all of his fastballs harder, regardless of the specific type. It’s perhaps for that reason that he’s improved his defense-independent numbers considerably; or perhaps it’s for another one. In either case, what one finds here is the objectively most impressive fastball of the week.

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Breaking Ball
Pitcher: Craig Kimbrel, RHP, Atlanta (Profile)
Batter: Matt Holliday   Date: Saturday, May 17th
Velocity: 83.2 mph   Break: 12.8 in.

Footage:

Kimbrel KC Holliday 2

More Different Footage:

Kimbrel KC Holliday 2 Slow

Having watched both the St. Louis and Atlanta feeds of the pitch depicted here, the author can state with some authority that neither broadcast team was particularly impressed by it (i.e. that same pitch). In neither case did anyone suggest that what he’d just seen was in some way special, nor did either feed feature a replay — which latter fact has compelled the author to make just the dumb, manual slow-motion GIF found above. Were one so compelled, one could make a reasonable argument to the effect that Craig Kimbrel, like any other sort of luxury item, is eventually something to whose charms one becomes immune — a sentiment expressed with considerably more pith by Epicurus in either his Principal Doctrines or Vatican Sayings, one or the other.

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Offspeed Pitch
Pitcher: Felix Hernandez, RHP, Seattle (Profile)
Batter: Brian Dozier   Date: Sunday, May 18th
Velocity: 89.1 mph   Break: 8.6 in.

Footage:

Felix CH Dozier

More Different Footage:

Felix CH Dozier Slow

In the most recent edition of this same exercise, the pitcher recognized for having thrown the most impressive offspeed pitch of that previous week was Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez. In the present edition of it, the pitcher being recognized for that same thing is Hernandez again. Of note regarding this particular changeup: the members of the Twins broadcast team (from whose feed the footage here is taken) referred to it more than once as a fastball — in the second or third case as a “fastball with some sink.” On the one hand, it suggests that perhaps those broadcasters aren’t particularly well acquainted with Hernandez’s repertoire; on the other, though, it reminds one that Hernandez throws his version of the changeup at a velocity typically associated with fastballs.

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Weekly Leaderboard
Here are the top-15 pitches since last Friday by the largely arbitrary criteria selected by the author. Note that pitches marked with an asterisk (*) have been omitted from consideration due to reasonable suspicions concerning the accuracy of the relevant stadium’s PITCHf/x calibration.

# Name Date Inn T/B Opp Pitch Vel Brk zVel zBrk Score
1 Yoervis Medina* 5/22 8 T Jason Castro CU 85.0 14.8 -0.2 2.2 1.0
2 Jarred Cosart* 5/22 7 B Mike Zunino FC 93.8 8.9 1.3 0.4 0.8
3 Yoervis Medina* 5/22 8 T Matt Dominguez FF 93.8 8.5 1.3 0.3 0.8
4 Hector Rondon 5/18 9 T Jonathan Lucroy FT 96.8 6.0 1.8 -0.5 0.6
5 Ronald Belisario 5/22 9 T Brett Gardner SI 94.2 7.3 1.3 -0.1 0.6
6 Alfredo Simon 5/16 1 B Jimmy Rollins FT 93.7 7.5 1.2 -0.1 0.6
7 Ronald Belisario 5/16 8 B Marc Krauss SI 94.6 7.0 1.4 -0.2 0.6
8 Aaron Loup 5/20 8 B David Ross FT 94.0 7.3 1.3 -0.1 0.6
9 Jarred Cosart* 5/22 2 B Nick Franklin FC 94.1 7.2 1.3 -0.1 0.6
10 Alfredo Simon 5/21 7 B Danny Espinosa FT 95.3 6.5 1.5 -0.4 0.6
11 Ronald Belisario 5/20 9 B Lorenzo Cain SI 93.0 7.7 1.1 0.0 0.6
12 Jarred Cosart* 5/22 6 B Justin Smoak SI 94.1 7.1 1.3 -0.2 0.6
13 Gerrit Cole 5/18 2 B Zoilo Almonte FF 98.1 4.9 2.0 -0.8 0.6
14 Craig Kimbrel 5/17 8 B Matt Holliday KC 83.2 12.8 -0.5 1.6 0.5
15 Alex Cobb 5/22 5 T Yoenis Cespedes CU 81.0 13.9 -0.9 1.9 0.5



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Thanks, Comcast

Looks like Cosart has broken Pitch F/X with his cutter.

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