Helsley hits 104.2 mph for fastest pitch of '22

In same game, righty starter Mikolas throws slowest pitch by a non-position player 60.2 mph

September 28th, 2022

MILWAUKEE -- For the third time, Cardinals All-Star closer Ryan Helsley threw the fastest pitch of the MLB season by firing a 104.2 mph fastball to Brewers slugger Rowdy Tellez on Tuesday night at American Family Field.

Coincidentally, MLB’s slowest pitch of the season by a non-position player -- a 60.2 mph curveball from Cardinals starter Miles Mikolas -- also came from a game that saw St. Louis clinch the NL Central title with a 6-2 defeat of the Brewers.

Helsley, a first-time All-Star and the owner of only the third immaculate inning in Cardinals history earlier this season, broke his own mark for the fastest pitch of the season with Tuesday’s 104.2 mph fastball, per Statcast. Just last week in San Diego, Helsley fired a 104 mph pitch to Padres slugger Josh Bell on a 3-2 pitch that was fouled off. Earlier in the season, Helsley had a 103.1 mph pitch to Arizona’s Ketel Marte for the fastest pitch -- a mark that was later topped by teammate Jordan Hicks (103.8 mph in early July).

Even though Helsley fired the ball at 104.2 mph, it left Tellez's bat even harder. The left-handed hitter ripped a grounder for an out that was clocked at 109.6 mph.

“I saw the 104 [on the scoreboard], but that dude is a beast,” Helsley said of Tellez. “He got to it and hit it hard still, even at 104. It came harder than it went in.”

Mikolas, who allowed just four hits and one run over six innings while striking out nine, kept the Brewers off-balance by mixing his pitches well. Among those pitches was the 60.2 mph curveball to Milwaukee’s Garrett Mitchell in the fifth inning. Mikolas has been in a playful competition all season with teammate Adam Wainwright to see which player could throw the slowest curveball. After starting Mitchell off with a 93.6 mph fastball, Mikolas went 77.2 mph and 60.2 mph with his next two curveballs. The 60.2 mph pitch broke the mark for the slowest pitch of the MLB season by a non-position player, an honor held previously by Washington’s Aníbal Sánchez at 60.4 mph.

“My stuff was great today, and I was trying to build off how I felt in San Diego,” Mikolas said. “I was just trying to keep my delivery smooth, attack hitters and go right at them throughout the game.”