The Pirates entered the season with less-than-lofty expectations as they were projected to finish near the bottom of the NL Central. They’ve managed to defy the odds so far and sit atop the division in June, with Keller one of the biggest reasons.
The 27-year-old is one of the most impressive pitchers in the league when he is playing to the best of his abilities, and Brandon Nimmo found out how filthy a throw from the Iowa native could be when he was made to face an 83mph sweeper on Sunday.
Keller struck Nimmo out in the third inning of the Pirates’ 2-1 win with a pitch that broke 26 inches. While the caption to the video below claims it was 24in, Statcast notes it was a full two inches over two feet.
Check it out right below:
Fans were losing their minds over it too:
Nimmo didn’t stand a chance there. The ball seemed to be headed toward the outside part of the plate before veering off sharply inside.
The outfielder couldn’t have expected a ball to break horizontally, especially not at that distance. That was some absurd control.
Keller, meanwhile, is looking to be a bit more calculating with his pitches this season.
“I think getting back and analyzing where we were at, making those small little adjustments,” he said on Sunday. “It wasn’t anything too wild or crazy. Just a few little adjustments here and there, and I think it makes all the difference.”
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