On June 23rd Ryan Pressly watched from his dugout as Aaron Judge gave the Yankees yet another victory, one in which came without leading for a single pitch prior to that at-bat. Pressly was at the forefront of the defeat as earlier in the inning, with a three-run advantage, he was entrusted to retire the four, five, and six hitters. However, two walks, a three-run home run, and two more singles would end Pressly’s day early.
Since then? Pressly has had more kids born than runners on base.
The minimum 30 batters have faced Pressly, 17 of which being retired via strikeout, good for a 56.7 K% which ranks second in the league over that span. This barrage of strikeouts should come as no surprise when noting the fact that Pressly is forcing swinging strikes nearly twenty percent of the time, and leading the pack in zone contact % at 64.3 percent. His three-pitch mix of fastball, slider, and curveball have all been ultra unhittable netting a run value north of 2.0 for all three. Pressly is just one of six pitchers to have TWO pitches with a run value upwards of 2.0, so his ability to throw three elite pitches has rendered opposing hitters begging for mercy.
Another five hitters with notable names such as Giancarlo Stanton and Ty France managed to put the ball in play, yet could only muster groundballs with an average exit velocity of 88 mph. Hard Hits have been hard to come by for opposing hitters, as Pressly has allowed just three balls to be deemed as hard contact across the past month, once again placing him in the top three amongst all relievers.
Of the remaining eight hitters yet to be discussed, half of them recorded line drive-outs. The average exit velocity of those line drives comes out to just 81.65 mph which is particularly noteworthy as Pressly prior to the June 23rd implosion allowed an average exit velocity of 98.5 mph.
Following the June 23rd Aaron Hicks home run, the final four of Pressly’s perfect thirty flew out with only one of which traveling a distance further than 300 feet.
Thirty hitters have come to the plate with Ryan Pressly on the mound and all thirty have faced the same fate with varying ways of getting there. Pressly has undoubtedly been the best reliever in all of baseball over the past month, and he even has a case for best pitcher overall. He leads all pitchers in SIERA at an astounding 0.09 and is second only to Edwin Diaz with -0.27 FIP.
With Pressly firing on all cylinders, the Astros already fourth-ranked bullpen is set to reach even higher heights. Regardless of how much longer the streak continues, Pressly has once again reminded everyone he is one of the game’s top closers and has positioned the Astros for a chance at a sixth straight ALCS run.