April 13, 2012

Mariano Rivera in 3D

Mariano Rivera, 1993

We already knew that Mariano Rivera has been consistently amazing for a long time (16 seasons and counting), and with what appears to be a confoundingly limited arsenal -- he only throws two pitches, a straight fastball and the infamous cutter. Tom Verducci's Sports Illustrated feature from 2009, "The Sure Thing", remains one of the best written summaries of Rivera's success.

Also from 2009, iamawesomer published an article on Beyond the Boxscore, "Mariano's Gonna Cut You, Everybody Knows It, And Nobody Can Do Anything About It" that used PitchFX data to analyze Rivera's pitches -- notably the location and movement.

But this great New York Times 3D video goes a long way in demonstrating the effectiveness of his pitches by giving us a batters-eye-view of the pitches, from when the swing has to start to where the ball will eventually be when it gets to the batter.

Wonderful stuff.


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