1. Michael Wacha's Fastball
We're featuring a good amount of Fastballs today and it starts with Michael Wacha, who had his second straight game of nine strikeouts as he faced the Marlins on Thursday. Four-Seam Fastballs are Wacha's traditional heater, however he whipped out a Two-Seamer to Christian Yelich, which had beautiful late life to earn the second out of the first inning. Notice how the pitch starts right along the outside corner before taking a hard right turn off the plate. Great execution.
2. Chris Devenski's Changeup
A popular topic on Twitter this week has been the all-star selections, with Chris Devenski a noticeable snub as he's boasted a 2.09 ERA across 51.2 innings for the Astros out of the pen. The pitch that has elevated to success has been this Changeup coined the "Circle of Death" and it was obliterating the Yankee lineup last weekend. This pitch is a prime example, starting knee high before disappearing below the strike zone and getting a huge whiff from one of the best hitters in the majors right now in Aaron Judge.
3. Marcus Stroman's Fastball
Speaking of Aaron Judge, it seems that pitchers feel they need to give a little extra to get the All-Star slugger out, as he's getting his second appearance in this week's roundup. This one isn't as humiliating as he had no choice but to let this blistering 96mph Fastball zoom from the opposite batter's box to the outside corner, not an ideal pitch to swing at for strike one. If you were unaware of why Marcus Stroman is the face of the Blue Jays' rotation, let this pitch enlighten you.
4. Joe Kelly's Slider
After years struggling to get into a groove as a starting pitcher, Joe Kelly has found his calling as the Red Sox setup man, dialing it up to triple digits often with his incredible Fastball. However, having a nasty Slider in his back pocket can make all the difference, and he unleashed a brutal 91mph breaking ball to Rougned Odor during Monday's game to escape a tough jam in the eighth inning. The camera angle doesn't do this pitch justice, but you can see the bend of the ball as it curls from the inside corner into the second baseman's ankles. Just filthy.
5. Corey Kluber's Fastball
Finally we have one of the hottest pitchers on the planet in Corey Kluber who is completely locked in with his Fastball. We've seen a backdoor heater and a Fastball that starts as a strike that falls out of the zone. Now we have a front-door Fastball that is inducing an entertaining jump off the plate from Carlos Santana as he is sent back to dugout. How someone is allowed to have this kind of movement on their Fastball and hold one of the deadliest breaking balls in the world is beyond me.