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 First 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.
Carlos Carrasco’s Changeup – Carrasco started his afternoon by again relying heavily on his fastball in the opening frame against Kansas City and gave up two runs in the inning. But as the game progressed, he broke out his secondaries more often and ended up increasing his curveball usage from 7.8% in his season debut to 19.6% Friday, also cutting his fastball usage by five percentage points. Though Carrasco only finished with four strikeouts in six innings, he didn’t allow a run after the initial hiccup and featured an off-speed offering highlighted by this Mike Moustakas whiff.
Luis Castillo’s Changeup – The good thing about watching Castillo throw is, even if he struggles, you know you’ll at least see flashes of brilliance on an individual-pitch basis. So while the 25-year-old righty wasn’t efficient with 107 offerings over five innings in his team’s 14-3 loss, the Pirates’ Josh Bell and his runaway bat wanted no part of this Castillo first-inning changeup.
Miguel Castro’s Fastball – Pedro Alvarez might have been the hero in the Orioles’ 7-3 win over the Yankees on Friday with his 14th-inning grand slam, but the game featured plenty of lights-out relief pitching to get to that point. Castro’s beautiful 98 mph sinker to Ronald Torreyes in the bottom of the ninth induced a whiff and helped keep things rolling into extras for the O’s.
Jordan Lyles’ Curveball – The 27-year-old right-hander picked up four K’s in two innings of relief Friday. This hook to Houston’s Derek Fisher helped preserve the lead for starter Luis Perdomo in an eventual 4-1 win over the Astros. Lyles is sporting a 30.4 K-BB% on the young season.
Josh Hader’s Slider – Hader may be the latest talented bullpen arm to be passed over for a closer’s role because of his value as a multi-inning reliever after Corey Knebel‘s hamstring injury, but the 24-year-old showed his stuff here with this slider that seemingly came from behind Kyle Schwarber for the fifth-inning strikeout. The Cubs outfielder couldn’t do anything but begin the acceptance phase of yet another K as he took a somber stroll back to the dugout.
Lance McCullers’ Curveball – McCullers had his knuckle curve working here as part of his seven strikeouts over five innings against the Padres. He featured the pitch 59% of the time, getting San Diego’s Jose Pirela to chase this one out of the zone for the third-inning K.
Marco Estrada’s Changeup – Joey Gallo doesn’t keep things subtle on the diamond. When he hits a home run, it’s generally a no-doubter. Likewise when he swings and misses. Estrada took advantage of the latter tendency Friday with this diving change, part of a night that saw him feature great control (1 BB) and seven strikeouts over six innings.
GIF Of The Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below and the winner will be featured in the GIF of the First Half Contest.