Carson Cistulli’s infatuation with specific pitches and Jeff Sullivan’s desire to highlight the bizarre and hilarious have led to some great GIFs on FanGraphs over the last few years. But, today, I think we all have to acknowledge that the art form of the GIF has been perfected. Or, at least, has hit a new high. Because this is simply incredible.
A commenter on Lone Star Ball created this image, showing the difference in movement on Yu Darvish’s pitches, and I can’t stop watching this. Mesmerizing is probably the best word I can use.
Thanks to Drew Sheppard — the guy has a webcomic, by the way, which deserves a plug just because of how great this GIF is for making this — for originally posting it to Lone Star Ball. I hope this inspires Drew (or others) to make more of these, though it might be that the Darvish one will never be topped. This feels like the Mona Lisa of GIFs.
Also, good luck to opposing hitters trying to hit Yu Darvish.
Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.