Rays reliever Oliver Drake became internet famous Saturday after he struck out the White Sox's Leury Garcia on a nasty split changeup.
People couldn't comprehend the pitch's lateral movement across the plate.
Maybe the extreme overhand release had something to do with that.
Not sure why that particular pitch would have left people dumbfounded, though. Drake broke off something unhittable, but you don't have to look far and wide to uncover other major league pitches that dart and dive as much as, if not more than, Drake's delivery.
Heck, there are three solid examples from just the past week (via Pitching Ninja):
Cubs right-hander Pedro Strop:
Pedro Strop, Wicked 89mph Splitter....and Sword. ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/WaBJt850Vi— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 20, 2019
Braves right-hander Mike Soroka:
Nationals right-hander Stephen Strasburg:
Stephen Strasburg, Disgusting 95mph Two Seamer. pic.twitter.com/vSnq1uepWD— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 12, 2019
Then there's the pitch that really was devil magic: the high-90s two-seamer thrown by Drake's teammate Jose Alvarado early in the season:
Not sure I've ever seen a pitch so filthy and disgusting as this Jose Alvarado screw ball, if you will. More like whiffle ball or even pitching with a ping pong ball if you ever tried that as a kid. pic.twitter.com/6i0U01alvD— Greg Brady (@TheGregBrady) April 4, 2019
Good luck explaining that one.
Hey, bravo to Mr. Drake for finding something that works so well, but let's remember that a lot of other pitches are pretty nasty, too.