Trevor Bauer on How to Invent a Whole New Slider
Standing on the mound, a major league baseball pitcher has 60 feet and 6 inches of air to get each pitch to sizzle before it crosses the plate. But it’s their arsenal of throws that separates a good pitcher from a great one. Two-fingered fastball, four-fingered fastball, slider, curve, cutter, knuckleball—each option spins differently to achieve a unique motion.
“There are so many different things in baseball that lend itself to science because it’s not so much of a physical game as it is a technical game,” says Trevor Bauer, starting pitcher for the Cleveland Indians. Bauer is unusual for his knowledge of the physics of baseball. He studied engineering at UCLA during college, but cites his dad, a chemical engineer who taught him the scientific method, for his love of science.