split-fingered fastball

noun

split-fin·​gered fastball ˈsplit-ˈfiŋ-gərd- How to pronounce split-fingered fastball (audio)
: a fastball thrown with the ball gripped as for a forkball so that it drops rapidly as it nears the plate

called also split-finger, splitter

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web On Thursday, a regression in the sharpness of Tanaka’s best two pitches — a split-finger fastball and a slider — was his biggest downfall. Benjamin Hoffman, New York Times, 17 Oct. 2019 By this logic, wouldn’t white baseball pitchers have an advantage because their light skin helps them disguise the light baseball when throwing a split-finger fastball? Mike Bianchi, orlandosentinel.com, 5 Dec. 2019 That’s an impressive feat, considering Darvish throws more than six pitches and his split-finger fastball and hard curve can be difficult to catch. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, 28 Aug. 2019 Domingo German is facing an innings limit, big-game pitcher Masahiro Tanaka has struggled to find his split-finger fastball all season and James Paxton has only just begun to put together consistent starts. Kristie Ackert, courant.com, 11 Aug. 2019 Put on 15 pounds and work on a split-finger fastball ... Dan Brechlin, courant.com, 2 Aug. 2019 While his standout pitch, the split-finger fastball, has eluded him much of the season, Tanaka has been the Yankees’ most reliable pitcher — a 3.81 E.R.A. over a team-high 111 innings — thanks to secondary pitches and guile. James Wagner, New York Times, 14 July 2019 The most noticeable difference, other than varying the speeds on his slider and curve, was the unveiling of his split-finger fastball. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, 13 July 2019 And until Posey’s single, Norwood was deceptively successful thanks to use of a split-finger fastball to complement a sharp slider and 96-mph fastball. Mark Gonzales, chicagotribune.com, 12 July 2018 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'split-fingered fastball.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1979, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of split-fingered fastball was in 1979

Dictionary Entries Near split-fingered fastball

Cite this Entry

“Split-fingered fastball.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/split-fingered%20fastball. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!


The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

TAKE THE QUIZ