Aaron Nola’s Curveball + the Nastiest GIFs from Sunday’s Games
Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the Second Half Contest. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @PitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.
Aaron Nola’s Curveball – Once again, you can take your pick of which of Nola’s hooks were the best from Sunday. This one to Chicago’s Kyle Schwarber was as good as any, though, as he sent it into a black hole down-and-in for the whiff. If you prefer the freeze-inducer, here’s Anthony Rizzo looking as indecisive as can be. The Phillies ace picked up a fantastic 51.4% CSW with the pitch (nine whiffs, 10 called on 37 total) on his way to 11 K’s.
Walker Buehler’s Fastball – Paul Goldschmidt tossed his bat in the air in resignation after the Dodgers rookie blasted him on the inside corner with this grimy fastball. It’s tough to blame the D-backs star, as Buehler’s heater looked great on several occasions, including here against Eduardo Escobar. (H/t to our own Michael Wexler for the spot.)
Carlos Carrasco’s Curveball – Sure, the Rays hung five runs on Carrasco in 6.1 innings, but he still racked up nine strikeouts thanks to a whiff-tastic curve. That is: He induced a whopping 19 swinging strikes with the pitch. Here, Carlos Gomez had trouble staying upright after Carrasco yoinked him with the second-inning offering. (Bonus: Ji-Man Choi had no shot on this one either.)
Noah Syndergaard’s Fastball – This bit of 99 mph nastiness to Gregor Blanco came on the 106th pitch of Syndergaard’s complete-game two-hitter. He also finished things off with similar heat to Evan Longoria later in the ninth. Hey, stick with what works—if “what works” is near 100 mph with movement on the black.
Adam Morgan’s Slider – David Bote better check his rear cleat for missing spikes, as he almost tripped over home plate while on his way back to the dugout after this seventh-inning K. Overall, the swing numbers are down on this pitch—but he’s using it much more effectively, getting a 3.8 pVal.
Austen Williams’ Curveball – With the way the flames have been trailing behind Christian Yelich when he walks to the plate these days, it’s impressive that anyone can drop the hammer on him like this. The Brewers outfielder still drew a walk in this at-bat, but Williams’ breaker brought the filth here.
Shohei Ohtani’s Slider – Ohtani’s fastball velocity may have dropped hard last night, but he got Houston’s Tyler White to flinch with such force that it has me wondering if that’s where all that kinetic momentum went. Ohtani made it just 2.2 innings in his pitching return. (Bonus-bonus: San Diego’s Jacob Nix similarly turned DJ LeMahieu into jelly with this breaker.)
Brandon Woodruff’s Slider – The pVal on this breaker has dropped from 4.3 in 2017 to 0.3 this year, but as we can see on this one to Washington’s Andrew Stevenson, Woodruff’s slider still has plenty of movement and can be quite nasty when he drops it in the right spot.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner will be featured in the GIF of the Second Half Contest.