Not to feed the unrelenting Daisuke Matsuzaka hype machine, but the Boston Herald quotes several Florida Marlins describing the best pitcher ever to live throwing a mystery pitch:
In Matsuzaka’s Red Sox debut against major leaguers, two Marlins – Jason Stokes and Jeremy Hermida – said they saw a pitch that had movement and action unlike any other pitch they had ever seen before.
Hermida saw it three times, Stokes once and the UFO broke down and away to the left-handed hitting Hermida and in on the hands of Stokes.
The ball spun in a clock-wise direction, or reverse to what they are used to. It had a screwball-like rotation that left them shaking their heads.
Red Sox pitching coach John Farrell said Matsuzaka’s changeup was the pitch they actually saw but that was not what the Marlins called it.
“It’s a pitch that’s somewhere between a changeup and a splitter but it’s got a sideways spin,” said Stokes. “It’s like a split, but it’s slower, more movement.”
There’s a lot of great stuff there. I’m not a pitcher (I’m not a hitter either, for that matter), so I’ll ask those of our community with actual live baseball experience: What could this pitch be?
(Incidentally, Craig Hansen did not pitch yesterday’s game, depite his presence in the live MLB.com box score and in the final Globe/SportsNation and ESPN.com box scores. That was Mike Burns sucking for two straight innings; the Globe today says Hansen might pitch in a game Friday).