On Tuesday night Joel Zumaya threw a ball that the Comerica Park gun, and the Fox Sports gun clocked at 104mph. That is freakishly fast and a little hard to believe, at the very least there was probably some rounding up. A check of MLB.com’s pitch f/x data had the pitch 50 feet from home plate at 102.2mph. So the stadium gun was likely a little hot, but that is still obscene. It did make me curious about the fastest pitches thrown this season.
By my check the pitch f/x system has recorded 91 pitches that topped 100mph this season (through 6/25/09). Of those 91 pitches, they basically all belong to Zumaya.
If you order the pitches in descending order, Zumaya actually has the 38 fastest pitches this season (Justin Verlander had the 39th) and 57 of the 58 fastest. Zumaya has 28 pitches at 101mph or faster.
As for the fastest pitch this season? It wasn’t the pitch that finished Bradley which came in a 102.2. But it did come earlier in the at-bat when Zumaya hit 102.7. For good measure he came back the next day and hit 102.6 against Mike Fontenot. Those are the 3 pitches this season top the 102mph barrier.