Hicks threw the gas during the Cardinals' 5-1 triumph Sunday at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Mo. He settled in to face Phillies center fielder Odubel Herrera in the top of the ninth inning. Cesar Hernandez walked to start the frame, but Rhys Hoskins grounded into a double play in the next at-bat.
Hicks began his exchange with Herrera by grooving in a 104.2-mph sinker. His next pitch was a 105-mph sinker, which was called a ball. Herrera fouled off a 104.30-mph sinker and another 105-mph sinker, pushing the count to 1-2. Herrera took a 103.7-mph sinker for a swinging third strike, but reached base after the ball got away from Cardinals catcher Francisco Pena.
The right-handed reliever eclipsed New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman for the fastest pitch thrown this season. Chapman and Hicks are the only pitchers who have thrown pitches fast as 105 mph since pitch tracking began in 2008, according to Statcast.
"It was my first time facing a guy like that," Herrera told reporters. "I had never faced someone throwing 104, 105 miles an hour. But I felt good because I was able to see pitches."
Hicks walked Carlos Santana in the at-bat following Herrera. He reached 101.2 mph against the Phillies first baseman. He forced Jorge Alfaro into a ground out to end the game.
Cardinals starter Jack Flaherty also dazzled in his showing, allowing two hits and one run, while tossing 13 strikeouts in 7.2 innings.
"Odubel just takes forever to get in the box," Hicks said. "It amps me up a little bit. So I bring it against him."