The radar gun on the Yankee Stadium scoreboard appears to be around one mph faster that normal. So depending on what you believe (I’m inclined to believe the slower gun), Athletics righthander Henry Rodriguez just topped out at either 100 or 101 mph.
Either way, Rodriguez throws really, really hard, with velocity that rates as a pure 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale. Rodriguez sat at 98-99 mph with his fastball–though he occasionally dropped down for 92-94–and blew his fastballs by a U.S. lineup that has just two hits through eight innings. Rodriguez threw one pitch so hard at 99 mph that he fell down on his behind after delivering the pitch; I don’t think that’s how A’s pitching coordinator Gil Patterson teaches the follow-through.
After walking Cardinals catcher Bryan Anderson on four pitches to start the inning, Rodriguez struck out Reds shortstop Chris Valaika, Phillies center fielder Greg Golson and White Sox second baseman Chris Getz. Rodriguez also flashed a mid-80s slider, which he used to strike out Valaika. But it was the high heat–16 of his 17 pitches were fastballs–that predominated Rodriguez’s repetoire.