Major League Baseball
Pitching Ninja's Five Filthiest Pitches: Jacob deGrom's slider is silly
Major League Baseball

Pitching Ninja's Five Filthiest Pitches: Jacob deGrom's slider is silly

Updated Aug. 8, 2022 6:44 p.m. ET

By Rob Friedman, aka "Pitching Ninja"
FOX Sports MLB Analyst

There were a lot of filthy pitches this week — so many that it was tough to pick my top five.

But on we go!

Jacob deGrom's absurd 96 mph slider


DeGrom is back and might actually be better than ever, if that's possible.

"deGoat" had an incredible 90% swing-and-miss rate on his slider against the Braves, which is the highest swing-and-miss rate on a single pitch in a game (more than 20 pitches) since pitch tracking became a thing in 2008. 

Nothing shows deGrom's dominance more than this incredible slider.

Here's an overlay that shows what hitters have to deal with when facing deGrom. This is a 100 mph fastball and a 96 mph slider, and you can see how well these pitches tunnel together and how consistent deGrom's mechanics are. The man is basically a robot programmed to destroy hitters.

Oh, and deGrom hit 102 mph in this game, marking the fastest strikeout pitch of his career! 

Michael Kopech's Bohemian Rhapsody fastball 

Mama, Michael Kopech just killed a man.

Kopech's fastball has a good bit of "rise" (a misnomer, but it means his fastball fights gravity more than most other pitchers' fastballs). This clip showcases why that's a great thing for Kopech but not such a great thing for poor Vinnie Pasquantino, who had his soul stolen.

Ryan Helsley's mind-blowing fastball and slider overlay 

Helsley has been one of the best closers in baseball this season, with a 0.79 ERA and a .635 WHIP. This overlay shows why he is such a tough at-bat for hitters — notice how long his slider and fastball are indistinguishable on their way to the plate. As a hitter, by the time you can determine the difference, you're already committed to swinging.

This is truly nightmare fuel for hitters. 

Corbin Burnes dismantling Joey Votto 

Burnes leads the major leagues in strikeouts with 175 K's this season. Here, Burnes destroys Votto with a wicked cutter and changeup combo. Making a great hitter such as Votto look like he has never swung a bat before is quite an accomplishment!

James Karinchak's hammer curveball

Not only did Karinchak buckle Jose Altuve' knees with this curveball, but he also made sure everyone in the stadium knew it. I love my ridiculous relievers, and Karinchak might be one of the wildest.

While this celebration might be a bit over the top, give me all the K struts and bat flips and players playing with emotion. Instead of acting like you've been there before, get fired up and get the fans involved!

Bonus: The Ripper claims another victim. 

It's no secret that my favorite umpire in baseball is John Tumpane. I've given him the nickname the Ripper because of his stabbing punch-out motion on hitters who dare to watch a third strike go by.

Here the Ripper puts Elehuris Montero on the Eternal Injured List. 

Warning: Never go down looking while the Ripper is behind the plate!

Rob Friedman is a pitching analyst on Twitter and YouTube, and his work has been featured on many Major League Baseball broadcasts.


Get more from Major League Baseball Follow your favorites to get information about games, news and more