Bergman: Women’s Baseball World Cup highlights

From Sydney Bergman at Baseball Prospectus on July 24, 2019:

The Women’s Baseball World Cup was held in August 2018 in Viera, Florida, with all the games broadcast on YouTube. The tournament was, simply, fun as hell to watch: A mix of blow-outs and tight games, lots of contact, a few devastating strikeouts, and some long ball for those of us that dig it.

I’ve tried to distill it into a few key players and images – ones that hopefully tell a larger story about both the tournament and women’s baseball game style. If you’re looking for players or teams to watch – or games to check out – I’ve tried to make a few suggestions of where to begin.

Ayami Sato

It’s hard to pick just one image or stat that tells you how good, exactly, Ayami Sato’s curveball is. One of my first, and most enduring, memories of baseball’s return to DC was watching Liván Hernández pitch. He was a junkballer generally and would occasionally breakout an eephus so slow and meandering and occasionally devastating, that it was a joy to watch hitters boggle at it at a time when being a Nationals fan was not really that much of a joy about anything.

Sato’s curveball doesn’t feel like it has quite the same meander, but it has the same devastation. It’s a sliderish curve that both drops and moves, with a spin rate of 2150 rpm (per Pitching Ninja) and velo in the low-60s, about 10 mph below her fastball. It is knee-buckling; it is gross; it is wonderful.

Read the full article here:

Originally published: July 24, 2019. Last Updated: July 24, 2019.