Hoornstra: Max Muncy’s single off a 103 mph fastball was a triumph of the human mind

From J.P. Hoornstra at the Orange County Register on August 22, 2018:

Cardinals pitcher Jordan Hicks was perplexed.

The fastball left his hand at 103.3 mph, quicker than any of his first five pitches to Max Muncy on Monday night. Muncy extended his bat over the plate, defensively, protecting the outside corner as if anyone could discern the difference between a ball and strike at such a speed. Muncy did more than protect the plate – he poked a line drive into left field, where it landed 191 feet from home plate for an RBI single. It was the fastest pitch anyone has thrown all season to result in a hit.

“I was like, ‘how?’ It wasn’t even a strike,” Hicks said. “I don’t even know how he hit it.”

Muncy’s explanation was deceptively simple.

“Start your swing a lot earlier than you normally would,” he said. “Try not to tense up, try not to get too big. That’s kind of the common thought: ‘guy’s throwing hard, I have to swing hard.’ You don’t. When a guy’s throwing that hard you just have to get the bat on the ball. If you can put the barrel on it when a guy’s throwing that hard, a lot of times good things will happen.”

Read the full article here: https://www.ocregister.com/2018/08/22/max-muncys-single-off-a-103-mph-fastball-was-a-rare-triumph-for-the-human-mind/

Originally published: August 23, 2018. Last Updated: August 23, 2018.