The five best curves in the game today

  • Updated: July 22, 2011 - 1:55 AM

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

  • NICKNAMES FOR THE CURVEBALL

    "The Hook"

    "The Bender"

    "Uncle Charlie"

    "Deuce" -- catchers traditionally hold down two fingers to call for a curve

    "The Hammer"

    "Public Enemy No. 1" -- that's what Vin Scully called it

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions
Bottom 2nd123456789RHE
Minnesota14       560
Seattle00       020
Preview | Matchup | Lineup | Log | Wrap | Box
HR: MIN- None SEA- None

ADVERTISEMENT

Los Angeles - LP: Z. Greinke 1 FINAL
Detroit - WP: M. Scherzer 4
San Diego - LP: J. Benoit 3 FINAL
Colorado - WP: B. Logan 6
Toronto - LP: A. Loup 7 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Grilli 8
Miami - LP: S. Cishek 3 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 4
Washington - WP: D. Fister 6 FINAL
Baltimore - LP: B. Norris 2
NY Yankees 4 Bottom 11th Inning
Cleveland 4
Atlanta - LP: E. Santana 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 4
Chicago Cubs - LP: D. Beeler 1 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: A. Simon 4
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Guerra 4 FINAL
Boston - WP: K. Uehara 5
Kansas City - WP: A. Crow 5 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: K. Yates 4
Houston 8 Bottom 8th Inning
Texas 4
Philadelphia - WP: R. Hernandez 4 FINAL
Milwaukee - LP: K. Lohse 1
Pittsburgh 2 Top 7th Inning
St. Louis 4
Minnesota 5 Top 2nd Inning
Seattle 0
Oakland 0 Top 3rd Inning
San Francisco 1
Winnipeg 7/11/14 6:00 PM
Montreal
Ottawa 7/11/14 9:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 7/12/14 5:30 PM
Toronto
Brt Columbia 7/12/14 8:30 PM
Saskatchewan
Edmonton 7/17/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Washington 72 FINAL
Chicago 65
Seattle 58 FINAL
Phoenix 78
New York 66 FINAL
San Antonio 80
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Should Justin Morneau get the final National League All-Star spot?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close