Paul Skenes Unleashed Disgusting Slider With 15 Inches of Break During MLB Debut

May 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Skenes (30)
May 11, 2024; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates starting pitcher Paul Skenes (30) / Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Top MLB pitching prospect Paul Skenes lived up to the immense hype surrounding his big-league debut on Saturday, as the 6'5" righthander wowed baseball fans—and his girlfriend and LSU star gymnast Livvy Dunne—with a seven-strikeout performance in four innings of work against the Chicago Cubs at PNC Park.

Skenes touched at least 100 MPH on the radar gun 17 times and made Cubs hitters look foolish with his hybrid, splitter-sinker pitch, called a "splinker."

But, there was one pitch thrown by Skenes that stood out from the rest.

With one out and an 0-and-2 count on Cubs outfielder Seiya Suzuki in the top of the first inning, Skenes hurled an absolutely filthy slider with 15 inches of break on it.

That's just nasty.

Skenes, 21, has been making Triple-A hitters' lives miserable pitching for the Indianapolis Indians, as he recorded a 0.99 ERA with 45 strikeouts in 27 1/3 innings pitched across seven starts in 2024.

This past Wednesday, the Pirates announced they were calling up Skenes to the big leagues. The Fullerton, Calif. native, who was the first overall pick in the 2023 MLB draft, is scheduled to make his next start against the Cubs once again on May 16 at 7:40 p.m. ET at Wrigley Field.


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Tim Capurso

TIM CAPURSO

Tim is a Staff Writer on the Breaking & Trending News Team at Sports Illustrated. Before coming aboard the SI team, he wrote for RotoBaller and ClutchPoints, where he was the Lead Editor for MLB, College Football and NFL coverage. A lifelong Yankees and Giants fan, Tim grew up in Mahopac, NY, just outside of NYC. It was no surprise when 10-year-old Tim announced he wanted to be a sportswriter one day, considering his favorite book at the time was The Baseball Encyclopedia. He now lives with his girlfriend, Lindsay, a die-hard Eagles and Phillies fan, just outside of Philadelphia, PA, where Tim can confirm he has been heckled more than a few times. When he's not writing, Tim enjoys reading, exercising and spending time with his family. This includes their three-legged cat Willow, who, unfortunately, is also an Eagles fan.