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FiveThirtyEight

“I was going to give him a couple pipe shots,” Adam Wainwright said when asked whether he “grooved” a first-inning pitch to Derek Jeter in Tuesday night’s All-Star Game. “He deserved it.” But later, after the baseball press swarmed his admission like locusts on fresh crop, Wainwright recanted. “What I meant to say was I’m intentionally trying to throw a strike to get him out. It’s what I do most of the time, almost all the time.”

Luckily, people keep track of this kind of thing. Take a look at PITCHf/x data on Wainwright’s usual fastballs against right-hand batters this season, courtesy of BrooksBaseball.net:

Paine.GroovedPitches.chart

PITCHf/x classified it as a cutter, but it sped along like a four-seamer, moved vertically like a four-seamer, and stayed as horizontally still as no pitch in Wainwright’s repertoire. So, grooved or not grooved? You tell us.

UPDATE (July 17, 1:20 p.m.): Dan Brooks of BrooksBaseball.net contacted me on Twitter and said his site had re-tagged Wainwright’s pitch as a (non-cut) fastball. The official Major League Baseball Advanced Media PITCHf/x classification for the pitch is a cutter.

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