Kevin Gausman’s Split-Change + The Best Pitches From This Weekend’s Games

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Every morning we review the five best pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the “GIF of the Week”. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @ThePitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

Kevin Gausman‘s Split-Change – Gausman had a successful Sunday striking out eight Twins batters across seven innings of two run ball. This Split-Change he threw to Miguel Sano was excellent as it dropped off the plate and under Sano’s hands for the whiff.

Chris Sale’s Changeup – Sale’s Slider gets all of the attention, and today I wanted to feature the unsung hero of his repertoire, his Changeup. I consider Sale at the peak of his game the most unhittable pitcher in baseball as each of his three pitches move in three different directions, each with well above average movement. His Fastball darts away with fantastic ride at speeds above 95 MPH, his Slider has some of the best horizontal movement in the game as batters swing through pitches that ultimately hit them, while his Changeup fades down nearly 10 MPH slower than his Fastball. Let’s take a look at this at-bat. Trumbo is down 1-2 after seeing a Changeup for strike one, a Fastball off the plate, then a Slider he missed by about a foot. Trumbo is making up his mind between Fastball/Slider when Sale places this Changeup perfectly down and away. Trumbo thinks Fastball, plants his foot, and then helplessly flails at the pitch as it falls off the plate. It’s gorgeous and even this pitch that doesn’t seem all too pretty at first is just a beautiful as the blazing heat or deceptive Sliders.

Trevor Bauer’s Fastball – I’ve watched this pitch roughly thirty times now, and I still can’t fathom how Bauer gets this much horizontal ride on his 93 MPH Fastball. He worked on the pitch last off-season after seeing our famous GIF of Marcus Stroman’s Fastball, and it has certainly paid off. Chase Headley could only stare and walk back to the dugout.

Yordano Ventura’s Curveball – Even though Ventura has had a rocky season in Kansas City, his stuff has always been top notch. He struck out Pablo Sandoval over the weekend on an 86 MPH Curveball that has way too much depth for a pitch that fast. The rotation is simply unreal.

Masahiro Tanaka’s Splitter – Sometimes we need a reminder of how good Tanaka’s Splitter is. Despite having himself a weekend with a pair of dingers, Francisco Lindor quickly got behind Masahiro after chasing his patented pitch in the dirt. (Thanks to Reddit user jimmcdermont for the tip!)

Mike Fiers’ Curveball – Fiers tossed a no-hitter on Friday night as his Curveball was looking as sharp as ever. This one to Justin Turner elegantly falls into the strikezone to jump to a 0-2 count. (Thanks to Reddit user brihoang for the tip!)

Kyle Hendricks’ Fastball – Being a finesse pitcher often lowers pitchers’ chances of looking pretty on the hill, but when it comes paired with a front-door Fastball, Kyle Hendricks finds a way to still look lovely. (Thanks to Reddit user The_Black_Unicorn for the tip!)

Odrisamer Despaigne’s Curveball – Despaigne, despite having one of the best last names in baseball, is not a frequent member of these roundups. However, he threw a 69 MPH Curveball to Greg Garcia Sunday afternoon that impressed us all. (Thanks to Reddit user iamadacheat for the tip!)

GIF Of The Weekend

Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below and the winner will be featured in this weekend’s “GIF of the Week” contest.

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Nick Pollack

Founder
Founder of both PitcherList.com and PitcherGIFs.com. Current Washington Post contributor and has worked with CBS Sports, Grantland, and SB Nation. Former pitching coach and Brandeis alum.