Chris Young changed speeds so effectively, Joc Pederson nearly lost his shoes
It's an old baseball adage that it's not the sheer velocity that dominates batters, it's how effectively a pitcher changes speeds and locations. Chris Young proved that on Tuesday night. Though blessed with a Randy Johnson-esque frame, Young's average fastball hasn't topped 90 mph since 2004 -- and last year it was just 86.6 mph.
But again, it's not about the speed, it's how the ball is commanded. After falling behind 2-0 to Joc Pederson, Young then placed an 87-mph fastball high and on the outside corner. For his next pitch, he came with an 81-mph slider, catching the far opposite corner -- down and in.
But to Pederson, it was enough to have him swinging at something else entirely.
Through perfectly commanded pitches and pitch sequencing, Young managed to make Pederson look almost like a cartoon character:
Young would go on to finish off Pederson with another slider, but it was simply one part of an excellent day's work. Young pitched 4 1/3 no-hit innings against the Dodgers, striking out five. As Ned Yost told MLB.com's Jeffrey Flanagan after the game:
"Did you get a chance to see him pitch tonight? He was awesome. Really good."
Not bad for a pitcher with an 87-mph fastball.