1. Jake Odorizzi's Changeup
Across the last three seasons, Jake Odorizzi has been remarkably consistent, sporting nearly identical strikeout rates (2.14%, 21.5%, 21.2%) and ERA totals (3.35, 3.69, 3.77) since 2015. The pitch that has helped him keep his head afloat has been a Split-Changeup, which features some deadly bite and whiffs plenty of batters. He started his game against the Blue Jays this week by fanning Kevin Pillar with the pitch, which dove from the middle of the plate down to Pillar's shins in a blink of an eye.
2. Steven Matz's At-Bat
Among the sea of injuries that the Mets routinely have to deal with, there was a bright spot last weekend as Steven Matz made his first start of the season for New York. While he didn't feature the consistent polish that we've seen from him in the past, he had one at-bat against Brandon Phillips that was marvelous. He tossed a perfect 1-0 Changeup on the outside corner, then hit the spot again with a 92mph heater, and finished him off with a heavy Curveball that fell beneath the strikezone for the well-deserved whiff. Let's hope this can be less of a flash of brilliance and more of an expected at-bat.
3. Felipe Rivero's Slider
The Pirates bullpen has been shaky at its backend, but not because of Felipe Rivero, who has solidified himself as the premier fireman in the pen. Outside of tossing straight ched with his Fastball, he's able to debilitate batters with a wicked Slider that features a boatload of horizontal bend. Check him out as he sent Carlos Gonzalez back to the dugout with the pitch that starts right on the outside corner before curling into the opposite batter's box.
4. Ken Giles' Fastball
Sometimes we just want to see well located heat and that's what Ken Giles brings to the table. As the de facto closer in the Astros pen, he was called in to shut the door against the Angels last weekend. He sealed the deal with a blistering 99mph Fastball at the knees to Martin Maldonado and it was exactly what we were looking for. How you hit that is beyond me.
5. Rich Hill's Curveball
The days of Rich Hill being a stud on the mound may be over, but even if he can't consistently command his pitches anymore, he still scatters some breathtaking breaking balls through his starts. Take this Curveball to Erik Gonzalez for example. This pitch travels all across the plate and even adds just a touch extra lateral movement at the end to slide far on the inside corner into a place where Gonzalez has no chance of making contact. Simply gorgeous.