October 5, 2022

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Flamethrowing Hicks records fastest pitch of '22

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ATLANTA – Earlier this season, when Cardinals reliever Ryan Helsley threw the fastest pitch in Majors at the time — 103.4 mph against the D-backs — he figured it was just a matter of time until teammate Jordan Hicks eventually bested him.

That moment came on Thursday at Truist Park, where Hicks blew a 103.8 mph power sinker by Braves slugger Marcell Ozuna, who was just able to foul the pitch off.

A relief pitcher for the first 2 1/2 seasons of his career, Hicks threw a 105 mph pitch in 2018 against the Phillies — a pitch that was close to tying closer Aroldis Chapman’s 105.1 mph pitch against the Orioles in 2016, which is the fastest in MLB history during the Statcast era (since 2015). On May 31, 2019, Hicks nearly accomplished the feat again by throwing a 104.3 mph pitch on his final throw of the night.

Back in the bullpen after a starting stint and a month on the injured list with a forearm tendon strain, Hicks is once again throwing all out. In Saturday’s defeat of Philadelphia, Hicks threw 18 of his 28 pitches at more than 100 mph.

On Thursday against the Braves, Hicks struck out three batters and allowed just one hit in two innings of work. Of his 34 pitches, 27 were at 100 mph or more. He had the 24 fastest pitches in the game when he exited, with the top five registering at 103.8 mph, 103 mph, 102.9 mph, 102.8 mph and 102.7 mph, according to Statcast.

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