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#pounditWednesday, October 4, 2023

Home plate angle of Spencer Strider’s fastball is insane

If you have ever wondered what it would look like to stand in the batter’s box against one of Major League Baseball’s elite pitchers, wonder no more.

Atlanta Braves ace Spencer Strider led the team to an 11-4 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Sunday. Strider fanned nine batters over his six innings of work, allowing just two earned runs on two hits and one walk.

One of those strikeout victims was Phillies shortstop Edmundo Sosa, who whiffed on a 97 mph Strider fastball in the third inning. ESPN’s UmpCam (made possible by a camera mounted to the mask of the home plate umpire) showed the unbelievable angle of Strider’s pitch from behind the catcher.

Check it out (where you can see Sosa swinging right through the heater).

The 24-year-old Strider, who is now the first MLB pitcher with 100 strikeouts this season, usually tops out around 99 mph on his fastball (with No. 99 also happening to be his jersey number). He mixes in a slider in the mid-80s as well as a changeup that he can crank up to almost 90 mph too.

That video shows just how impossible it is to a) recognize, b) react to, and c) make contact with Strider’s flame-broiler of a fastball. On top of his filthy stuff, Strider is also very well-versed in baseball meme culture.

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