Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw knows the key to pitching is changing speeds, but he took that to the extreme during Thursday afternoon’s game against the Atlanta Braves.
On the first pitch of a fourth-inning matchup against Atlanta catcher Tyler Flowers, Kershaw—who has a knee-buckling curveball in his repertoire—unleashed one of the slowest pitches you will ever see in an MLB game.
He threw a 46 mph eephus pitch (a very slow, curveball-like offering).
The eephus pitch did not find the strike zone, but it did give Flowers something to think about. And given that a batter has plenty to deal with while facing Kershaw, adding an eephus pitch to the mix just isn’t fair.
Kershaw followed his 46 mph lob with an 84 mph slider. Just imagine if the three-time National League Cy Young Award winner fired in his fastball, which typically sits around 92 mph, per FanGraphs. That would’ve been quite the adjustment for a hitter to make.
As for Flowers, he struck out in the at-bat. It’s hard to blame him, though, given he saw a completely new pitch out of Kershaw.
The Dodgers went on to win 2-1 in 10 innings.
[MLB.com, Jon Weisman]