We knew Lance McCullers Jr. was nasty at his best, and he was at his very best on Saturday night, closing out the Yankees to send the Astros to the World Series.
What’s crazy? He finished off the game, according to MLB.com’s pitch tracking data...by throwing 24 consecutive curveballs to six different batters...to record the game’s final six outs.
The Astros’ starter-turned-reliever was dominant in his role, recording a four-inning save, striking out six and allowing just one hit and a walk.
That walk came in the eighth inning, and after Todd Frazier got a free pass — an at bat in which McCullers threw no curveballs — he leaned on his best pitch for the entire rest of the game.
He retired Chase Headly on seven curves, Brett Gardner on four and Aaron Judge on three, all ranging in the mid to high 80s. Then he came back out and finished Didi Gregorius, Gary Sanchez and Greg Bird. That is downright disgusting, honestly.
McCullers’ curveball grip graced the cover of Sports Illustrated in May as Tom Verducci dug deep on how the breaking ball has altered the modern game.