When we first picked Dan Warthen’s brain about his specific slider, Noah Syndergaard did say that he’d played around with the pitch, but only to improve a different pitch. “I played with it a little bit to pick up the RPMs on my curveball,” he said then. Yesterday, Syndergaard did more than play with it — he threw eight of them, making it the second time this year that he’s thrown the pitch that often.
It looked like this:
That particular slider went 89 and was too filthy for Dan Uggla to handle. On the day, Syndergaard averaged 90 mph, and averaged just over a half-inch less drop than average (while being six miles per hour faster than your average slider).
That package of movement and velocity might actually be better than deGrom’s filthy slider, considering that Syndergaard equalled deGrom’s average velocity on the slider while having two inches more drop than your average deGrom slider (brought to you by Dan Warthen).
But of course things aren’t that simple. Syndergaard threw eight of those sliders and only got a strike — swinging (1) or called (2) on three of the pitches. Since one was put in play by Wilson Ramos for a single, that means half of his sliders were balls, and that’s not a good ratio.
It’s something that we’ve seen, that a new pitch is tough to corral. But the promise of a 90 mph slider to complement his 89mph changeup, 81 mph curveball, and 97 mph fastballs should make Mets fans giddy — those values would give Noah Syndergaard top-15 velocity on all five of his pitches. That’s something only Matt Harvey and Yordano Ventura can say otherwise.
|Name||IP||Top 15 Velo Pitches|
With a phone full of pictures of pitchers' fingers, strange beers, and his two toddler sons, Eno Sarris can be found at the ballpark or a brewery most days. Read him here, writing about the A's or Giants at The Athletic, or about beer at October. Follow him on Twitter @enosarris if you can handle the sandwiches and inanity.