Doval sets Giants' Statcast era record with 104 mph pitch originally appeared on NBC Sports Bayarea
SAN FRANCISCO -- When Camilo Doval turned around and peaked at the scoreboard in San Diego six weeks ago, the Giants' closer saw 103 mph. "I hope that is correct," he told himself at the time.
The official number came in at 102.9 mph that day, tying a franchise record previously held by Brian Wilson. On Friday night, while closing out a 6-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks, Doval shattered that mark, jumping right past 103 and up to 104 mph with his cutter.
Doval's 15th pitch of the ninth inning was a ball, sailing wide on a 2-2 pitch to Alek Thomas. But it was the most eye-opening moment of the win over the Diamondbacks.
Carlos Rodón, who usually sits in the upper 90s himself, said he was in the dugout with Logan Webb and they were both thinking Doval should throw a slider. They couldn't believe it when they saw the number on the scoreboard.
"(It was) 104, we were like, alright, if you've got that," Rodón told reporters in Phoenix. "So, yeah, it was impressive."
Doval is the fifth pitcher in the last five seasons to hit 104 mph, but just the second this season. Incredibly, the other one came on Thursday, when St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Ryan Helsley threw a 104 mph fastball that San Diego's Josh Bell fouled off. The others to hit 104 over the last five years are Aroldis Chapman, Tayron Guerrero and Jordan Hicks, who did it a dozen times in 2018-19.
Hicks and Chapman are the only two players in the Statcast era -- the last 15 seasons -- to hit 105 mph, with Chapman holding the record at 105.8 mph. Doval has a long way to go, but he has already come a long way. His best bolt on Friday was a 1.1 mph jump from his previous high.
"It seems like he's getting stronger as the season goes on," Rodón said.
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Doval's velocity was up across the board on a warm night in Phoenix. He threw nine sinkers and averaged 100.2 mph, hitting 102.2. Not bad for a pitch he didn't even throw in games until July.
"When Camilo introduced the sinker it changed his arsenal entirely because at one point the league was sitting on his four-seam/slider combination and, even with the velocity that he had and the slider, they were still able to get some good swings off," manager Gabe Kapler told reporters in Phoenix. "Since the sinker came out it's just been a whole different ballgame."