I wasn’t able to see the game in its entirety, but Padre broadcasters Tony Gwynn and Mark Neely noted during Sunday’s contest between Atlanta and San Diego that Tim Hudson was using his slider with some frequency against left-handed batters. Indeed, per the Pitch F/x data, 21 of the 104 pitches (20.2%) Hudson threw were sliders — slightly above his season average of 14.6%. Another eight pitches (7.7%) were classified as cutters — itself a significant figure because (a) sliders and cutters have similar movement/velocity and (b) only 3.0% of Hudson’s pitches this season have been classified as cutters.
Whether sliders, cutters, or their depraved issue, the slutter, the pitches that Hudson threw Padre rookie Anthony Rizzo at 1-1 and 3-2, respectively, during Rizzo’s sixth inning at-bat, were very clearly of the totally unfair variety.
Here’s the 1-1 pitch to Rizzo:
And the 3-2 one:
It’s actually hard to track the latter pitch because the white of the ball basically disappears in the white of Rizzo’s pants — which, that’s fine, but I’m also all like: “Hey, ball, if you wanna get in Anthony Rizzo’s pants so bad, get a room, okay!!!”
Carson Cistulli has published a book of aphorisms called Spirited Ejaculations of a New Enthusiast.