Slider - Notable Sliders

Notable Sliders

Right-handed pitcher David Cone was famous for his devastating slider, which he was able to use many different ways, as was Bob Gibson of the Cardinals. To right-handed batters, Cone would throw it to hook sharply outside the strike zone, getting hitters to chase and miss it. He would also throw the pitch from various arm angles to further confuse the hitter. Cone's slider was also a strikeout pitch to left-handed hitters, throwing it to curve back over the outside corner and catch the hitter looking. Cone used the slider to great effect during his perfect game on July 18, 1999—the final out was recorded via a slider resembling a whiffle ball. In the first game of the 1988 World Series, Dennis Eckersley tried to strike out Kirk Gibson with a slider, but Gibson was sitting on that pitch and hit a game-winning home run. A notable slider was thrown by John Smoltz which would come in looking like a strike and then break out of the strike zone. Brad Lidge featured a devastating slider as his primary weapon in his perfect season as a closer in 2008, and used a slider to strikeout the final batter of the 2008 World Series for the Philadelphia Phillies. Closer Francisco Cordero also possesses a potent slider. Yet another notable pitcher who throws a slider is Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers who used the pitch to win a Cy Young Award in 1981. Another potent slider was thrown by Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks starter Randy Johnson, whose incredible lateral movement on the pitch eventually spawned its own nickname, "Mr. Snappy". At times, his slider was faster than most pitchers' fastballs. Hall of Fame pitcher Steve Carlton was known for his nearly unhittable slider. Mike Jackson, who tied Paul Assenmacher with the most games pitched in the 1990s (644), also threw a great slider. Ron Guidry was famous for his devastating slider, he was taught by Sparky Lyle.

Other active pitchers with good sliders include Sergio Romo, Joe Nathan, Joba Chamberlain, Cliff Lee, Johan Santana, Kerry Wood, Carlos Mármol, Josh Johnson, Scott Feldman, Brad Lidge, Clayton Kershaw, Al Alburquerque, and Francisco Liriano. Armando Galarraga threw sliders 38.9% of the time in 2008, more than any other starting pitcher in the majors, and Ryan Dempster threw them 32.9% of the time, more than any other NL starting pitcher. In 2008 CC Sabathia had the most effective slider, among major league starting pitchers. Zack Greinke won the AL Cy Young award in 2009 due in large part to his slider, one of the better pitches in all of baseball. In 2011, Clayton Kershaw won the Triple Crown by having a .117 average against his slider.

Improper throwing while pitching sliders is associated with pitching injuries and slider pitchers experience injuries at a rate slightly higher than that of other pitchers.

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