Yoshinobu Yamamoto sneakily unveiled a new pitch in latest dominant Dodgers outing

Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers
Miami Marlins v Los Angeles Dodgers / Harry How/GettyImages

Yoshinobu Yamamoto threw his best outing of the year so far on Tuesday against the Marlins. He pitched eight innings, his most in a single game, and although he was immediately met with a home run by Jazz Chisholm on his first pitch, it was almost clear sailing from then on. His final line: eight innings pitched, five hits, two earned runs, zero walks, five strikeouts.

After his disastrous first start in Seoul, Dodgers haters were quick to get on Twitter and hit Yamamoto with the dreaded 'overrated' label (with a healthy dose of 'overpaid' as well). However, he's had a 1.76 ERA over his proceeding starts, with 45 strikeouts to just seven walks.

And that's not all! On Tuesday, he also whipped out a new pitch to add to his fastball/split finger/curveball/cutter arsenal. Pitches are funky and getting harder to name with so much recent innovation, but he threw something like a sinker-sweeper around eight times at approximately 94 MPH against the Marlins.

It goes to show that Yamamoto isn't just resting on his NPB laurels and tried and true arsenal, but is instead looking for brand new ways to dominate hitters in a new space.

Yoshinobu Yamamoto debuted a sinker against the Marlins on Tuesday in his best start of the season so far

Yamamoto's fastball location has also been getting better, with heat maps showing that he's been able to get it toward the outsides of the plate more often (though they're still very much concentrated middle-middle). His split finger, uniquely thrown by Japanese pitchers or pitchers who have spent time in NPB, continues to be his most dominant pitch, earning him 20 of his 47 strikeouts this season, including two of five on Tuesday (the other three came off the improving fastball).

None of the Marlins batters who saw the new pitch were able to make good contact with it, and the two home runs came off the fastball and splitter, which seemed to just miss its location.

The Dodgers' heated chase of Yamamoto and eventual record-breaking contract they gave him was not for nothing. His ERA has dropped a little more after every start since his debut, and he's clearly getting comfortable enough with the rest of his stuff against MLB hitters that he feels good to experiment. 'Overrated' and 'overpaid' were always the wrong words to use for Yamamoto, especially coming so soon after his first MLB start, but he's really starting to show that he's neither.