Because it’s impossible to watch every game — and sometimes even just one game — on any given day, it’s equally impossible to make a judgment as to which single pitch might have been that same day’s most transcendent one to have witnessed. And yet, one notes, such information might be the very thing to make this miserable life a slightly less miserable life.
With a view to addressing this suddenly urgent matter — and also with the assistance of this site’s Highly Reputable and Totally Real Think Tank — the author has endeavored to develop a methodology by which to identify at least one of each day’s most transcendent pitches in a more or less objective fashion.
Said methodology follows, with almost nothing in the way of explanation, but no less wisdom for that reason.
1. Utilizing Baseball Savant’s PITCHf/x utility, search for every pitch from the previous day that (a) wasn’t a four-seam fastball, (b) was thrown with two strikes, and which proceeded to (c) produce either a swinging or called strike (and therefore a strikeout). (Click here for an example of this exact search for April 30).
2. Sort the order of results by Desc by Pitches.
3. Select the pitcher to have recorded the most of the above-named kind of pitch, but who also participated in a game broadcast by means of one the league’s six straight-on center-field cameras (and perhaps either Baltimore’s or Minnesota’s, if one is comfortable with those).
4. Among the batters against whom the pitcher in question recorded the relevant kind of pitch, identify the one with the lowest career strikeout rate.
5. Find video of the pitch in question.
6. Repeat steps No. 1 through 5 if no slow-motion footage of the relevant pitch/strikeout exists.
8. Embed it here:
9. Write a post documenting the entire process for NotGraphs.
10. Take a shower, making careful to use extra of the anti-dandruff shampoo.
11. Eat dinner.
12. Drink too much wine over at a friend’s house.
13. Say something inappropriate about a private matter concerning the hostess.
14. Walk home after awkward goodbyes.
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