Last night we saw an old friend, one we haven’t seen in quite a while. Someone who many of us wondered if he even existed anymore. One who lit up radar guns and set the world of Baseball on fire back in 2007. A pitcher who blew away hitters with his high 90s fastball and buckled their knees with a devastating high 80s slider. Yankee fans welcomed him with glee and opposing batters would be greeted with his patented ‘Good morning, good afternoon, and good night’.
The first batter he faced was Scott Sizemore, and he went 96-97-97-97 and struck him out on three swings and misses. The next batter was Gerald Laird, who managed to see 6 pitches and foul off two but struck out looking. The final batter was Adam Everett, who looked completely over matched, striking out swinging on 4 pitches. All totaled Joba threw 14 pitches and hit 98 three times during Adam Everett’s at-bat.
Questions were raised on air by Kay about the radar gun, which also seemed to have every Detroit reliever throwing somewhere between 97-101 MPH. But don’t shortchange that Tigers bullpen, it’s currently the best in Baseball and the best in the AL by a wide margin. Zumaya throwing triple-digit heat should surprise no one, he’s been doing it for years. Gameday had Joba sitting at the same 96-98 MPH with little variation pitch by pitch. It was for real, and hopefully was a sign of things to come.
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