Rookie Pitcher Sets Record for Fastest Pitch in 2018

Blake Haffer, reporter

St. Louis Cardinals rookie right-hander Jordan Hicks did something that no one else has done so far this season, and he did it five times in the same at bat against Phillies outfielder Odubel Herrera on May 20.

When Jordan Hicks entered what would eventually become the Cardinals’ 25th win of the season, he did so following Jack Flaherty’s 7.2 innings of two hit baseball, and what became his first career win.  He got pinch hitter Nick Williams to ground out to third base to end the inning. When he returned to the mound, his first task was Cesar Hernandez, who he allowed to reach base via a walk. Second was power hitting left fielder Rhys Hoskins, who Hicks was able to get to ground into a double play.  With no one on and two outs in the bottom of ninth inning, outfielder Odubel Herrera walked to the plate.

“Jack Flaherty had an amazing game and I’m glad he finally got a win.  He had made a few really good starts before that became no decisions,” sophomore Cole Porter said.

Herrera had reached base in forty-five consecutive games for the Phillies prior to that game.  The first pitch to Herrera, a 104.2 mile per hour sinker that was a called strike, and the fastest pitch recorded by MLB so far this season.  Second pitch, an 105 mile per hour sinker. The pitch was called a ball, but was broke the record for fastest pitch thrown this season which he set just one pitch ago, and was less than a full mile per hour away from becoming the fastest pitch ever recorded by MLB since they started doing so in 2008.  Herrera then fouled off the third pitch, which was another sinker that reached 104.3 miles per hour and did the same to the fifth pitch which matched the second, at 105 miles per hour. Hicks then finished off Herrera with a 103.7 mile per hour sinker that got the strikeout.

“It’s amazing how Hicks threw five pitches in one at bat that were faster than pitches anyone else has thrown so far this year,” junior Adrian Byington said.

In the same five pitch at bat, rookie reliever Jordan Hicks threw the five fastest pitches of 2018, and two that were less than a mile per hour from breaking the MLB record of fastest pitch ever recorded.