The Red Sox pitching staff includes some nasty pitches. Time to rank the best of the best!
Don’t worry – the title of this article isn’t a typo.
As the Trade Deadline approaches, Red Sox fans, analysts, and enthusiasts are often bombarded with trade rumors and speculation. To break up the mundane conversation, here’s a more lighthearted “rank ’em” article.
It’s quite easy to have a friendly dispute over who the best pitcher on the Red Sox staff is; however it is rare to hear about who throws the best pitch. Take a look, give it a read, and comment your selection below!
What is the best pitch in Boston?
#5 – Rick Porcello’s Sinker / Two Seam
Rick Porcello, 91mph back door Two Seam Paint. pic.twitter.com/FCoMm6ZLV8
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 4, 2018
If you’ve watched Porcello pitch at all since he was acquired by Ben Cherington, he often features his trademarked sinker. The downward action on this pitch is one of the reasons why he was able to take home the 2016 American League Cy Young award.
The sinker was a point of emphasis for him during the offseason, as he worked with former Red Sox pitcher, Derek Lowe. It’s been a valuable weapon this season and is good enough to be the 5th best pitch in this list.
#4 – Eduardo Rodriguez’ Changeup
Eduardo Rodríguez, Filthy 3 Pitch K Sequence (all changeups). pic.twitter.com/zIV1dATZ9G
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) July 4, 2018
Perhaps you’ve noticed the recent emphasis on ERod’s fantastic changeup over his past few outings. Manager Alex Cora highlighted it as a development before his start against the Washington Nationals in which he turned in six shutout innings.
All season, and particularly in this video, Rodriguez’ changeup has befuddled hitters into poor swings and weak contact. This beauty is a solid option at #4 on this list.
#3 – Craig Kimbrel’s Breaking Ball
Craig Kimbrel’s Disgusting Knuckle Curve Montage. pic.twitter.com/DSb22lbo3h
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 11, 2017
This montage perfectly explains why Kimbrel is one of the games elite closers. If you combine a fastball that nearly touches 100 mph regularly with this wipeout breaking ball, you get plenty of embarrassing swings.
The Red Sox have been fortunate to “Release the Kimbrel” at the end of each game since Dombrowski acquired him for Manuel Margot & Carlos Asuaje. On many teams, this may be their best pitch, but Dirty Craig will have to settle for third here.
#2 – Steven Wright’s Knuckleball:
Steven Wright, Wicked 68mph Knuckleball. pic.twitter.com/fDHN3Uy8dV
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 11, 2018
There is nothing more interesting than a perfectly thrown knuckleball. In many cases, there are weak swings on Wright’s outstanding pitch; however if it doesn’t move it certainly creates trouble.
Anyhow, it’s incredibly difficult to flourish in Major League Baseball with largely one pitch and Wright has made a career out of it.
#1 – Chris Sale’s Slider:
Chris Sale, Ridiculous 82mph Slider.
We’re gonna need a wider gif. pic.twitter.com/KA0JFf1Thi
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) June 24, 2018
It seems like every game there is a laughable swing that is induced thanks to Sale’s wipeout slider. It routinely breaks nearly a foot and has often hit batters while still inducing a swinging strike – right Mark Trumbo?
The Red Sox have been fortunate to have this weapon every 5th day. There is no doubt that the Chris Sale special could compete for the best pitch in all of baseball.
Do you agree, or did we miss one of your favorites?
While you’re thinking about it, enjoy the video of one of the greatest pitchers in Red Sox history, Mr. Pedro Martinez!
55 Seconds of Pedro Martinez’s Filth (17K Game against the Devil Rays). Complete with Pedro side-eyeing batters after Ks, as he walked off the field. pic.twitter.com/79ccz2ByFc
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) December 24, 2017
If you haven’t followed @PitchingNinja on Twitter – you’re missing out.