Most of us who played youth baseball could have probably driven a 31 MPH pitch, given the right circumstances. If anything, that pitch is too slow for most batters to hit. Josh Harrison of the Oakland A’s knew that, so he didn’t even bother swinging.
On Saturday afternoon, Harrison faced Texas Rangers third baseman Brock Holt, who was on the mound late in the game. Holt’s first pitch was a knockout, a 31 MPH called strike to Harrison.
Give Brock Holt Cy Young immediately pic.twitter.com/WsQRJV2aoj
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) August 7, 2021
It’ll go down as one of the most memorable moments of the 2021 season, a year that has not seen much success for Texas, who sit at 39-73 and have now dropped 14 straight away from home this season. Texas ultimately lost this game, 12-3.
After the nine-run loss, Holt talked about entering the game and having a little fun at the same time. He says the 31 MPH heater was all part of the plan.
“The situation stinks, but it’s always fun for us to be able to go out and do that,” Holt said.
“The plan was to see how slow I could throw it and still be able to throw strikes. I don’t throw hard enough to put very much stress on my arm. For me, it’s about throwing strikes and get us to tomorrow without using any more pitchers.”
Holt ended the game throwing six pitches, each of which were less than 40 MPH. The 31 MPH called strike was even slower than the 41.3 MPH strike thrown by Minnesota Twins pitcher Willians Astudillo earlier this season.