The five best curves in the game today
After Bert Blyleven retired, the curveball became less prominent for a while, but scouts have seen a recent resurgence. Who has the best curveball in the game today? Joe Christensen lists five that are mentioned most:
JUSTIN VERLANDER, TIGERS, RH
Batting average against his curve: .162
Hitters have to be ready for his 95-mph-plus fastball, and then he breaks off an 81-mph curve, with a hard 12-to-6 drop. A strong Cy Young candidate this season.
ROY HALLADAY, PHILLIES, RH
Batting average against his curve: .187
Everything he throws moves. His sinker and cutter are both about 92 mph, and then he drops that 12-to-6 curve at about 77 mph.
YOVANI GALLARDO, BREWERS, RH
Batting average against his curve: .200
He throws almost as many sliders as curveballs. When his curve is on, it's devastating, looping down toward the dirt at about 80 mph.
CLAYTON KERSHAW, DODGERS, LH
Batting average against his curve: .155
High overhand delivery reminds some of Sandy Koufax, as do his breaking balls -- a slider at about 83 mph and a curve at 74 mph.
GIO GONZALEZ, ATHLETICS, LH
Batting average against his curve: .156
Thirty percent of his pitches are curves, so hitters know it's coming but still have little chance, as the ball dives from belt-high to the dirt.
Note: Averages from Inside Edge