Pitching Ninja’s Filthiest Pitches: Castillo, Muñoz among wild-card highlights

By Rob Friedman, aka “Pitching Ninja”
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

The 2022 MLB Wild-Card Series featured some in reality wild pitches — smartly, now not “wild pitches,” technically, however you get it.

Here are my filthiest pitches from this weekend’s video games.

Andrés Muñoz: 103 mph sorcery

Not most effective used to be this the quickest pitch within the postseason previously 5 years, in line with Codify Baseball, but in addition this fastball ran an ideal 18 inches! Vladimir Guerrero Jr.’s breathless response says all of it.

Here’s that 103 mph mutant pitch with a tail on it, which actually highlights the absurd motion.

Luis Castillo: Wicked fastball motion

Luis Castillo threw 7⅓ scoreless innings in opposition to the Toronto Blue Jays, and after having a look on the motion of his 99 mph and 100 mph sinkers and four-seam fastballs, you’ll see why. It’s a miracle somebody can ever put a bat at the ball in opposition to “La Piedra.”

This 99 mph sinker now not most effective dropped love it used to be made from lead but in addition ran an improbable 21 inches. 

Vladdy used to be the sufferer of any other superb fastball right here, as this 99 mph two-seamer utterly ate him up. Absolutely unfair!

Finally, those 100 mph two-seam and four-seam fastballs display you simply how unimaginable Castillo’s stuff will also be. Things that transfer that rapid shouldn’t transfer that a lot!

Jacob deGrom: Incinerating Juan Soto

Yes, the San Diego Padres gained the sequence, however deGrom gained this struggle. Honestly, the at-bat will have to’ve ended after that first pitch, as Soto shuffled himself all of the strategy to the bottom. But Soto were given again up, most effective to briefly be completed off by means of absolute flames. 

As the Targaryens would say: Dracarys!

Yu Darvish: Tantalizing 67 mph curveball

After all that warmth, it’s time to sluggish it down a bit of. Darvish threw the slowest strikeout pitch of the wild-card spherical with this beautiful, sluggish curveball. 

Darvish is a grasp at converting speeds. You can see on this overlay how each the rate distinction and motion of his curveball stay hitters off-balance.

Triston McKenzie: Hammer curveball

Dr. Sticks recorded 8 strikeouts whilst giving up most effective two hits in six scoreless innings. McKenzie’s good fortune used to be in large part because of his vicious curveball. Opponents hit .120 in opposition to the pitch in 2022, with an ideal 45% whiff charge. 

Check out the drop in this one.

McKenzie does a perfect process the use of increased fastballs to make his curveball much more efficient. Here’s an overlay of his fastball and curveball — you’ll see why it is a nightmare for hitters. The pitches get started in the similar aircraft, after which the curveball simply disappears, leaving hitters swinging at air.

Joe Musgrove: Bonus

Musgrove used to be sensible Sunday in getting rid of the New York Mets. He turned into the primary pitcher in postseason historical past to throw seven or extra innings and surrender fewer than two hits in an removal recreation, in keeping with MLB.

Of path, the sport used to be additionally memorable for the “foreign substance check” midgame, because the umpiring workforce checked Musgrove’s ears at Mets supervisor Buck Showalter’s urging. 

The seek became up not anything — smartly, as opposed to this:

OK, I made that up. 

I will be able to’t look ahead to the following spherical of the playoffs and a few extra filthy pitches!

Rob Friedman is an MLB pitching analyst for FOX Sports whose paintings has been featured on many Major League Baseball declares. Follow him on Twitter @PitchingNinja.

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