Stare in wonder at Andrew Miller's slider to strike out Freddy Galvis
Pitchers tend to treat the beginning of Spring Training as a time to loosen up the muscles and shake off the rust from a winter of (if my offseason is any indication) pie-eating and video game-playing. That usually means a steady diet of less-than-max effort fastballs as they're instead focused on sharpening command and getting back into their motions.
Not so for Andrew Miller. Making his debut for the Yankees as they squared off against the Phillies on Wednesday, Miller spun this time-zone changing slider that dropped under Freddy Galvis' bat:
That's not just a midseason slider, that's a pennant race, game-on-the-line bases loaded slider. That's the slider that John McClane throws when he knows that he's got one chance to throw a breaking ball so good that it defeats the bad guy. And Andrew Miller is tossing it on March 4th.
It's a welcome sight for the Yankees, who now boast the top two slider-throwing relievers from last year (Dellin Betances' slide piece was valued at 15.2 runs above average, Miller's at 13.9). It's also a terrifying omen of what's to come for any team trailing New York heading into the late innings.
And because I love you, please enjoy a few of Millers' offerings from last season. Yes, baseball is back. And it's beautiful.