St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks had himself a day on Sunday.
The 21-year-old rookie got four outs in a mostly meaningless early season game between the Cardinals and Phillies. But in the process of doing so he threw the five fastest pitches of the season and two of the fastest pitches of all-time.
The two record setters came in the same at-bat to Philly centerfield Odubel Herrera and they both touched 105MPH on the radar gun.
Two things to note here:
First, Hicks may be throwing bullets, but his control is lacking. That's obvious in the video above and in his stats. In 22 innings so far this season, he has 16 walks and 9 strikeouts. That lock of control might make him the scariest pitcher in baseball. Not only is he out there firing howitzers, but every one of them has the potential to turn your face to mashed potatoes.
Second, the reactions from Hicks' teammates are golden.
Asked how he does it after the game, Hicks said, “I can’t explain it. I don’t know. I just try to gear up and throw.”
He admitted that he was motived by how slow Herrera moves between pitches. “Odubel, he just takes forever to get in the box, to be honest,” he said. “So, it kind of amped me up a bit. I [brought] it against him."
And he said he was impressed with the results: “I surprised myself today."
With his two 105-mph heaters, Hicks ties Yankee's closer Aroldis Chapman with the fastest pitches since MLB began keeping such records. Chapman most recently did it last year against the Orioles.