(All the GIFs are courtesy of @PitchingNinja, who recently worked things out with MLB so he can start posting GIFs again. Thank God. So much easier than scrolling through YouTube for pitching videos.)
Holy hell. Jake Arrieta is back.
Not that he’s been terrible over the past couple years, but he wasn’t nearly as sharp as he’d been in 2015. Which, in fairness, isn’t easy to replicate when you win 22 games, post a 1.77 ERA with a 0.865 WHIP and 9.3 K/9.
After posting a 3.53 ERA and only throwing 168.1 innings over 30 starts in 2017, Arrieta was like the majroity of the free agents this offseason: waiting for a contract.
Phillies took a shot. Whoever decided to pull the trigger deserves a frigin raise.
Meh in his first outing, I’ll grant you that. But his spring training started later than everyone else’s. Looked damn good against Tampa Bay. SHOVED against Pittsburgh Thursday night: 7 innings, 1 hit, 2 walks and 10 strikeouts.
No only do the numbers look good, but his stuff was absolute filth. (Got three pitches for you from @PitchingNinja.
When I watch this one at first, compared to the other two I though it was good, but nothing crazy. Watched it three-four more times, this might be the best one. Starts on the black and just darts down.
A. How to you lay off that? (I guess you don’t.)
B. Since when did sinkers become swing-and-miss pitches? You’re not getting a grounder of that pitch.
My best guess, Gregory Polanco missed that by 6 inches. Anyone hits that pitch, go buy some lottery tickets. That ball barely moves left to right (view from catcher’s perspective), so it’s pretty much a straight drop, and never hovers on the same plane.
If you draw two horizontal lines across the screen over Polanco’s right elbow and right knee, you’ll see the curve starts at elbow height and drops to knee level. Not even going to try and guess how much of a drop that is, but I know Polanco is 6’5” and from where his elbow is in the GIF to his knee looks to be at least half his body length.
Now, @PitchingNinja calls this a two-seamer, even though it has depth on it. I have no idea if Arrieta has differing grips, but I would think these are both sinkers, this one just started higher in the zone so it had less depth, but more run. Tends to happen when you throw any pitch too high.
Either way, this is my favorite one. Starts at Adam Frazier’s elbow guard and comes all the way back to Arrieta’s arm-side. Again, absurd amount of movement.
But I like this one most because it’s such a hard pitch to throw. More and more guys are trying to throw it in the league, and it’s such an easy pitch to hang over the middle. When you get it right though, you’ll freeze dude, just like Arrieta did to Frazier.
I would also tend to think it’s harder pitch for Arrieta to throw, give he closes himself off with his lead leg. Only makes it more impressive.
And seriously, what the hell is Frazer supposed to do there? Basically dealing with 93 right in his face.
That’s why the backdoor two-seamer is so awesome. Rattles the hitter into paralysis. That’s the kind of stuff I love to see from pitchers