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Video: Brian Wilson threw a knuckleball today

Mar 4, 2014, 6:29 PM EDT

It was weird enough to see Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson start today’s Cactus League game against the Mariners, but then he did this with his first pitch to Brad Miller:

Yes, Wilson threw what appears to be a knuckleball. And it was actually pretty good.

We probably should have seen this coming, as Josh Tucker of Dodgers Insider notes that Wilson was spotted experimenting with the knuckler in a pre-game workout during the NLCS last year. Chances are he was just messing around with the pitch today, but if there’s anybody who would try to incorporate a knuckleball into his arsenal, it’s probably Wilson.

  1. markjames23 - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:34 PM

    A reliever/closer with a knuckleball is awesome.

    • gigab0t - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      Brian Wilson with a knuckleball is badass.

      • GMacGuffin - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:23 PM

        …and it seems Mr. Wilson is thinking about both legacy and longevity.

    • yahmule - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:24 PM

      Charlie Hough did it for the Dodgers for the better part of three years before they turned him into a starter.

      • hackerjay - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:49 PM

        Mike Henneman would mix a knuckleball in every now and then too, and he was a closer for pretty much his entire career.

    • jalenxabraham - Mar 5, 2014 at 10:48 AM

      Means his arm is probably about gone. I remember John Smoltz did this when he was a closer to eliminate stress on his arm. He got a couple more years out if Gus arm that he would not have. Other pitchers have tried it their last couple years with various results.

  2. dondada10 - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:35 PM

    If Wilson’s elbow falls apart for a third time I can see him coming back as a knuckleballer. He should be able to tuck his beard into his pants by then.

  3. thomas844 - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:37 PM

    Cause he’s Black Ops!

  4. missingdiz - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Oh, great. With a knuckleball he can remain in the limelight for another 10-12 years. Then “write” his autobiography and go on all the talk shows. Then run for governor of California. Sorry–I think I just had a vision of hell.

    • kevinbnyc - Mar 5, 2014 at 1:59 PM

      To be perfectly fair, how much worse could he possibly be than the “real” politicians who got elected?

  5. themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:41 PM

    Thats was a knuckleball and a good one too. You can see the grip on it if you pause just before the 5 second mark. Its fuzzy, but that appears to be a fingertip only grip. The surprise factor was complete. The perfect pitch for an anxious hitter. Brian Wilson could probably go back to starting games if that is going to be a regular feature in his aresenal

  6. cohnjusack - Mar 4, 2014 at 6:58 PM

    I wish we had more knuckleballers in the game today…they’re just too damn fun.

    Trivia: Who holds the live-ball era record (post-1920) for most innings pitched in a season?

    Knuckleballer Wilbur Wood, who threw a whopping 376.2 innings in 1972.

    • yahmule - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:17 PM

      With only 74 walks, which is utterly amazing.

    • stercuilus65 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:03 PM

      Dude had some amazing years, four straight of winning 20 or more (Yeah I know they are overrated but stil.. Started 49 games one year, WAR of 11.7 and 10.7, quite a pitcher.

      • cohnjusack - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:27 PM

        …and he threw at least 320 innings each of those seasons.

        In his case, wins actually underrated him. After all, he won “only” 22 of his 42 starts in 1971 despite a 1.91 ERA.

    • RonKarate - Mar 5, 2014 at 11:53 AM

      I once saw a Wilber Wood vs. Nolan Ryan battle back in the day. What a contrast.

  7. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:08 PM

    Does anyone think he will be content to be a setup man all season? I wonder how the Dodgers bullpen will shake out this season. With Wilson and League in the mix as Proven Closers it should be a volatile mix in there

    • stercuilus65 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      Yeah I wouldn’t count on League pressing Wilson or Jansen…

    • toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 4, 2014 at 10:10 PM

      Considering he’s getting $10 Million to be a setup guy, I think he’ll be quite content.

  8. yahmule - Mar 4, 2014 at 7:15 PM

    Any pitcher can learn how to throw a knuckleball. What’s difficult is controlling it, must less commanding it.

    • stercuilus65 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:04 PM

      Thats what she said…

  9. chill1184 - Mar 4, 2014 at 8:20 PM

    The pitch shall continue on…..

    • nbjays - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:28 PM

      The dude abides.

  10. mudhead123 - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:25 PM

    Some posters take sports way too seriously. Who in gods name will pause a game to look at his finger grip? You sound like a washed up never made it coach/player

    • themanytoolsofignorance - Mar 4, 2014 at 9:37 PM

      want to know what you sound like?

      • Old Gator - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:44 AM

        He knows what he sounds like, but since he’s too dumb to be any other way, continuing to sound like he does is the only reassurance he has that he’s still him.

    • Bryz - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:15 AM

      No, we sound like fans that are fascinated by the game.

    • 4d3fect - Mar 5, 2014 at 12:35 AM

      Bitterman, party of one..

    • ltzep75 - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:34 AM

      Your head is made of mud and your brains consist of…mud?

      • Old Gator - Mar 5, 2014 at 9:37 AM

        Unfortunately, he’s named himself after one of the great Firesign Theater characters of all time. It’s probably just a coincidence, since he doesn’t appear to be nearly bright or literate enough to appreciate the album in the first place.

  11. 4d3fect - Mar 4, 2014 at 11:02 PM

    …and Steiner just goes on with his script, completely missing the knuckler…

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