Every morning, we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious high-definition 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 September Nastiest Pitches GIF Tournament. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @PitcherList and we’ll GIF it up and give you a shoutout here in the article.
Adam Wainwright‘s Curveball
Once one of the most feared pitches in baseball, Adam Wainwright‘s vaunted Uncle Charlie has slowly faded into obscurity as injuries over the last several years have sapped his playing time and effectiveness. He’s been solid enough for the Cardinals this season, pitching to a 4.00 ERA. It represents his best mark since 2015, and isn’t too shabby for a 37-year-old hurler. Long gone are Wainwright’s days of Cy Young candidacy, but he’s shown this year he can still be plenty effective.
Gerrit Cole‘s Slider
The season is slowly but surely wrapping up, and Gerrit Cole is quickly closing in on the 300 K Club. With him having 2 or 3 starts remaining and needing just eight to reach the vaunted mark, Cole will reach the benchmark handily. Cole has cruised to one of the best pitcher seasons in recent memory, with a 2.62 ERA and an MLB record 13.66 K/9 as a qualified starter. For an idea of how absurd Cole has been lately, the last time he failed to fan at least 10 batters in an outing was back on August 1st, including a stretch of 3 14+ K’s. It remains to be seen if Cy Young voters will choose Cole or his rotation-mate Justin Verlander, but hardware or no, this has been one of the craziest seasons we’ve ever seen.
Noah Syndergaard‘s Changeup
This season has been a weird one for the usually dominant Noah Syndergaard, and the God of Thunder has looked noticeably mortal this season. He got knocked around for four ER by the Dodgers on Friday, and his four K’s over five IP dropped his season K/9 to an even nine. Given his career 2.93 ERA before this year, it’s probably safe to assume this season has been an outlier. Either way, it’s not exactly the season the hugely disappointing Mets were hoping for (or needing).
Shaun Anderson‘s Fastball
One of the benefits for playing on a team as dysfunctional as the Giants is you usually have a pretty long leash. Shaun Anderson is walking proof of that, as his 5.09 ERA is certainly not deserving of the rotation spot he’s held at times this year, or even the high leverage bullpen usage he’s gotten. Throw in a very poor K/9 and sub-par walk rate, and you get about what Shaun Anderson has given us this year.
Clayton Kershaw‘s Slider
Though it’s clear he’s not the legendary pitcher he once was, Clayton Kershaw has done a great job of proving those who thought he was washed. His 3.05 ERA is still among the best in the NL, and his 9.6 K/9 is rock solid, especially paired with his very good 2.0 BB/9. He’s certainly ceded his title as the best pitcher in baseball, but the future Hall of Famer certainly still has plenty of gas in the tank.
Michael Lorenzen‘s Changeup
Michael Lorenzen has had an incredibly impressive season for the Reds this season, both as a pitcher and a hitter. His 3.12 ERA is one of his best career marks, and his .292/.370/.500 slash line is impressive even for a non-pitcher. He was clearly incensed at losing out on the Silver Slugger Award to German Marquez last season and came back with a vengeance in 2019. The one-time starter may have never quite lived up to the lofty expectations, but he’s been a rock-solid contributor the last two years for the steadily improving Reds.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner will be featured in the September Nastiest Pitches GIF Tournament.