WASHINGTON — Pitchers reap the benefits of radar guns on each pitch to the plate. Fortunately, with advances in video technology, we now know how much zip the rest of the defense can put on a critical throw.
In the 16th inning of today’s marathon battle between the Washington Nationals and Pittsburgh Pirates, the Nats found themselves in a jam when Josh Harrison slammed a 1-1 Felipe Rivero pitch off the centerfield wall, with two outs and a runner on first base.
Centerfielder Michael A. Taylor retrieved the ball on one hop, firing the ball back in to cutoff man Dannny Espinosa at 88.6 MPH. Espinosa makes the transfer from glove to throwing hand in a stunning 0.67 seconds.
Then he fired a 94.8 MPH strike to catcher Wilson Ramos, who applied the tag on catcher Eric Fryer for the (at that point) game-preserving out at the plate:
For context, Rivero’s pitch was at 95 MPH. While no one is suggesting that Espinosa get moved to the bullpen, it’s a useful reminder that arm strength isn’t reserved just for the pitching staff.