Cleveland Guardians third baseman José Ramírez is one of the best players in baseball. He’s a four-time All-Star, a four-time Silver Slugger Award winner and a perennial MVP candidate in the American League.
But in an Opening Day at-bat against Seattle Mariners reliever Matt Brash, he did not look the part.
With the count full, Brash unleased a backfoot knuckle curve. Ramírez swung and missed, striking out. But he didn’t just strike out.
The pitch had Ramírez so far off-balance that he got turned around, then fell backwards onto home plate.
Matt Brash, Bohemian Rhapsody Knuckle Curve. 💀⚰️🪦 pic.twitter.com/OK6ZlhHA9c
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) March 31, 2023
Brash’s filthy pitch had baseball fans buzzing on Thursday night.
this usually only happens in a pitcher's dreams https://t.co/KinEsfIeR3
— Codify (@CodifyBaseball) March 31, 2023
Whiplash Brash https://t.co/qDfysXXQJS
— Jake García (@Jake_M_Garcia) March 31, 2023
Idk anything about baseball why don't they just do this Jedi thing every time?? https://t.co/XWVpVjaYG4
— Becca Green (@wordofgreen) March 31, 2023
Filthy! And that's to a MVP candidate. https://t.co/7TBo6puYTE
— PBC – Joe Taylor (@portlandbbclub) March 31, 2023
Threw him the ankle breaking crossover https://t.co/YquOaU0aQ6
— ACAB includes Paul Vallas (@TheTyronePalmer) March 31, 2023
Brash is still relatively unknown in the baseball world. He broke into MLB with the Mariners in 2022 and had mixed results. In 39 outings, he had a 4.44 ERA and 1.56 WHIP. Those numbers, particularly the high WHIP, were hurt by Brash’s control struggles. He walked 33 hitters in 50.2 innings.
But in those 50.2 innings, he also struck out 62 batters. And looking at pitches like this, it’s not hard to see why. Control is an issue for Brash — like it is for a lot of young pitchers. If he can find a way to harness that control, though, pitches like this show how much of a weapon he can be out of the Seattle bullpen.
And if Matt Brash can make José Ramírez look like this, chances are we’ll see more of this as the season progresses.
[Photo Credit: ROOT SPORTS Northwest]