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 GIF of the First Quarter Contest. 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.
Blake Treinen’s Sinker
Blake Treinen is one of the most GIF-able pitchers alive because his pitches combine upper level velocity with unbelievable movement. Pitches such as this one to Oscar Mercado just seem unfair. Watch the mesmerizing spin as the ball moves away from Mercado’s bat.
Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball
Clayton Kershaw has followed leaguewide trends and thrown more breaking balls and fewer fastballs as his velocity has diminished, but most of those added breaking balls have been sliders. I still love watching Kershaw’s curveball more than any of his other pitches because of the visual aesthetic of the nose to toes break. I bet Aledmys Diaz wishes Kershaw threw some more fastballs last night.
Justin Verlander’s Slider
Justin Verlander is like a fine wine as he only seems to get better with age. This slider to Leurys Garcia is a perfect 0-2 pitch because it ends up off the plate and unhittable after tantalizingly moving across the strike zone.
Touki Toussaint’s Splitter
I have a soft spot for Toussaint because I still remember the awful Shelby Miller trade and all the not so nice things Diamondbacks management had to say about Toussaint on his way out. Because Miller was far below replacement level during his Braves career, I think Toussaint has already provided more value to the Braves than Miller ever did. Toussaint has two plus finishing pitches: his curveball and his splitter. This splitter to Tyler Austin drops sharply right before it reaches the plate.
Chaz Roe’s Slider
It’s always nice when the eye test matches up perfectly with analytical data. Chaz Roe’s slider looks like it has a ridiculous amount of horizontal movement because it does. Baseball Savant’s new pitching movement leaderboard shows that Chaz Roe’s slider has 50% more horizontal movement than the next closest slider. Just ask Austin Barnes, who was left frozen by Roe’s slider last night.
Tayron Guerrero’s Fastball
Tayron Guerrero deserves better than the dumpster fire that is the Marlins. Maybe he’ll end up on the trading block this season so he can use his high powered fastball-slider combination to help a contender. 100 mph fastballs on the black like this pitch to Grayson Greiner would help every team.
Shaun Anderson’s Changeup
I’d never heard of Shaun Anderson before, but I’m going to track his progress to see if he has value in deeper leagues. This fading changeup to leadoff hitter Ronald Acuna started a nice outing for Anderson.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner will be featured in the GIF of the First Quarter Contest.
Tom Murphy would like to have a word with you…
Tom Murphy would like to have a word with me and let me know that he pitched on May 18, not May 21.