When I think of a wipeout slider, I think of Chris Sale, Yu Darvish, and Max Scherzer. The big guns. Guys who make a living striking out unsuspecting batters with a variety of pitches and riches of embarrassment. Joe Ross (3-3) isn’t the first name that comes to mind. His slider is good, but it never looks overly dominating. Going by results, it’s absolutely filthy, however. The numbers back this up. The MASN crew posted an image of the highest swing and miss percentage on sliders out of the strike zone and Ross’ was there, second on the list I believe. Batters have a tough time picking this pitch up.
Yesterday against the Diamondbacks, Ross struck out seven in six innings. Of those seven strikeouts, that last, decisive pitch was as follows: slider to Jake Lamb, swinging; slider to Jarrod Saltalamacchia, looking; slider to Yasmany Tomas, swinging; slider to Ender Inciarte, swinging; slider to Cliff Pennington that looked like it barely broke, swinging; a rather filthy slider to Oscar Hernandez, swinging; and a sinker to David Peralta, swinging. Sure, I could have summed that up by stating that Ross had six strikeouts with his slider, but it’s not as much fun and it’s fun to be all dramatic.
Admittedly, the strikeouts to Saltalamacchia and Hernandez were particularly impressive. The slider absolutely froze Saltalamacchia. It was a 3-2 count, and Saltalamacchia perhaps thought it was a ball. Maybe. I think he was fooled by the pitch and had no idea the rookie had the moxie to pull off a pitch like that. Either way, Saltalamacchia got his revenge in the fifth when he squared up on a sinker up in the zone. It was interesting strategy. Ross started Saltalamacchia up in both of his first two at-bats. By design? Looking at the zone profile for Saltalamacchia against righties over at BrooksBaseball.net gives some reasoning behind that. Ross was coming up and in, though.
It was an interesting choice. Other than that, David Peralta was the only other Diamondback to see Ross well. He flew out to deep center in the first and then doubled to nearly the same spot in the fourth. On the day, Ross finished with one run allowed in six innings. He surrendered five hits and struck out seven.
He also started missing his locations by the end of the sixth, so kudos to Matt Williams for not pulling him from the game one batter too late.
Below I’ve listed the particulars for yesterday’s game.
Pitches by Type:
## Pitch Type Count % ## Changeup 10 11.2 ## Sinker 44 49.4 ## Slider 35 39.3
Pitches by Outcome:
## Changeup Sinker Slider ## Ball 5 16 6 ## Called Strike 4 7 3 ## Foul 0 10 12 ## Foul (Runner Going) 0 0 1 ## In play, no out 0 3 1 ## In play, out(s) 0 7 4 ## In play, run(s) 1 0 0 ## Swinging Strike 0 1 8
Events by Final Pitch of At-Bat
## Changeup Sinker Slider ## Double 0 1 0 ## Flyout 0 3 0 ## Forceout 0 0 1 ## Groundout 0 2 3 ## Home Run 1 0 0 ## Lineout 0 1 0 ## Sac Bunt 0 1 0 ## Single 0 2 1 ## Strikeout 0 1 6
Strikeouts by Description
## Sinker Slider ## Called Strike 0 1 ## Swinging Strike 1 5
Pitches Velocities & Movement:
## Pitch Type Min Mean Max Mean Horizontal Mean Vertical ## Changeup 84.2 86.1 87.3 -9.018 5.900 ## Sinker 89.9 92.8 95.0 -8.574 5.758 ## Slider 79.2 83.1 85.4 -0.6054 1.406
Note: Horizontal movement denotes average distance, in inches, from point of release to home plate (+ moves away from a right-handed batter) while vertical movement is average distance, in inches, from release point to home plate.
Average (MPH) Velocity for Pitches by Starters Last Night:
Below are the pitch locations by both batter stance (left or right) and by pitch type.
Pitch Location by Batter: