After going over a couple games' worth of numbers, I'm starting to get a feel for how to identify Brandon Morrow's pitches by how they look in the PITCHf/x data. His fastball, changeup, curveball, and slider all have distinguishing characteristics that make them pretty easy to tell apart if you know what to look for.
This afternoon, Morrow threw a handful of pitches that were a little more tricky. Pitches that kind of split the middle between what I'd expect of his curveball and what I'd expect of his slider. Pitches that make me wonder if they were mistakes, accidents in grip or arm action due to underuse. After all, he's still getting accustomed to throwing a bunch of breaking balls, right? It would make sense if he's struggling to repeat the same arm action every time.
Here's what those mystery pitches looked like:
If that's a mistake, then God help the world if Brandon ever gets things right.
It looks to the eye like a curveball, but there are indications in the data that it may have been a slider, or at least had slidey characteristics, so I'm not sure. I'd even be tempted to call it a splitter if Morrow hadn't said a little while back that he hasn't thrown one all season.
Who knows? Maybe it was the curve. Maybe it was the slider. What's important is that, whatever its identity, it looked pretty sweet.
More of these bendy things, Brandon. They make me feel naughty inside.