Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Stephen Strasburg Gives New Meaning To The Term 'Knee-Buckler'

Normally, a pitcher labors through the final outs of any outing. The human arm just wasn't designed to throw a baseball 100 miles per hour repeatedly in a few-hours' span.

Well, Stephen Strasburg isn't your normal pitcher. In his debut, he actually got stronger the further into the game he pitched, evidenced by retiring 10 consecutive batters following Delwyn Young's 2-run HR, the last 7 of which were struck out consectuively.

But take a look at the last batter he faced, Andy LaRoche. The poor third baseman struck out on three pitches:

Pitch 1: 83 MPH curveball (called strike)
Pitch 2: 83 MPH curveball (swinging strike)
Pitch 3: 99 MPH fastball (swinging strike)

It's the last pitch that really sticks out: 99 mile per hour gas on his 94th and final pitch of the ball game? Are you kidding me?!

While the 99 mile per hour heat is surely a joy to watch, it's that first pitch that was so unhittable it was silly.

Thanks to SB Nation's Jeff Sullivan, we have the GIF (click to view animation):

How do those knees feel, Mr. LaRoche?

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