Akil Baddoo Strikeout Eight
Our final strikeout comes courtesy of Jake Diekman, who used to hit 100 MPH with his fastball, but is topping out at about 96 early this season. This is Baddoo’s 5th plate appearance against a lefty, and like Manaea before him, Diekman has one of the more extreme release points among lefties in baseball. His first slider appears to be heading directly at Baddoo’s back before curling inside for a ball. The next slider seems not to move at all and very nearly hits Baddoo in the head. He did well to get out of the way.
The at-bat doesn’t exactly take on a John Kruk/Randy Johnson feel, but it’s clear Baddoo isn’t terribly comfortable against Diekman now. He stares at a pitch right down the middle, and then offers late at another center-cut offering. Diekman finishes Baddoo off by nailing the outside corner at 94 MPH, and curious bloggers must now determine if there’s an issue.