Phillies 2015 Best Pitches, Part II

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Jul 18, 2015; Philadelphia, PA, USA;

Philadelphia Phillies relief pitcher Jonathan (58) throws a pitch during the ninth inning against the Miami Marlins at Citizens Bank Park. The Phillies defeated the Marlins 3-1.

(Photo Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports)

4. Jonathan Papelbon‘s slider: .161/.194/.032

We all know that Papelbon is a pain in the butt. Not many fans liked him, and most were happy to show him the door as soon as possible. However, what isn’t for debate is the fact that Papelbon “earned” just about every penny of his admittedly expensive contract.

One reason is that Papelbon was able to adjust to the league once they adjusted to him. As soon as he began to lose a few tics off of the fastball, he went to the offspeed stuff more often:

This year, while with the Phillies, Papelbon threw his slider more than at any previous time in his career (17.41%), which in turn produced some of his best results ever.

As with Gomez, he only allowed five hits, one of which was for extra bases. The slider also produced the highest whiff rate among Papelbon’s three pitches (19.82%), which was probably the most suprising part, since he’s been known for his splitter for quite a while.

It has become obvious that Papelbon has realized this as well, since he has begun using it more as a two strike pitch during his evoluation as an aging pitcher.

As much of a problem as he was in Philly, became in Washington, and still can be, Papelbon is still a very good pitcher with smarts and willingness to adjust that has enabled him to continue to be a top rate closer this far into his career.

Next: 2015 Phillies 3rd Most Effective Pitch