First Inning

First Inning

Off Speed: Baseball, Pitching and the Art of Deception contains among other things a history of pitching, a history of personal fandom and a pitch-by-pitch breakdown of a single game – Felix Hernandez’s perfect game no-hitter against the Tampa Bay Rays on August 15, 2012.  The game is used in the book as a way to illustrate the difficulty of the pitcher-hitter confrontation and it serves that purpose well. Each chapter in the book details the history of one type of pitch and one inning in the perfect game. It was an immensely entertaining game to watch. We’ve recreated the most essential part of it here – The King’s pitching – with GIF’s of each and every pitch he threw that day. All 113 GIF’s were created by the King of GIF’s, Nick Pollack, working from video of the game as broadcast by Root Sports.


It starts here in the top of the first versus Tampa leadoff hitter Sam Fuld.

Felix starts the game with a first-pitch fastball on the corner.



Sam Fuld 0-1 fastball up and away. Page 35



Curve ball misses away. Page 35



Fuld sitting fastball crushes the 1-2 pitch.



Next up is B.J. Upton

B.J Upton first pitch swinging. Page 36.



Matt Joyce

Matt Joyce takes another first pitch fastball. That’s three in a row. Page 37.



Another fastball, up in the zone. Three up, three down. Six of seven pitches four-seam fastballs.