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.
Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball
With questions on how much longer Kershaw could keep looking like the first-ballot Hall of Famer he’s been his whole career, it’s been refreshing to see his stuff still working this year. Particularly his curveball, which was looking vintage today, with this looper to Ian Kinsler representing the best.
Adam Ottavino’s Fastball
Ottavino lowered his season ERA to 2.20 with a clean outing last night, and his fastball was firing on all cylinders. He picked up a pair of punchouts, with this particularly nasty heater to Nelson Cruz capping off his first K.
Mike Minor’s Knuckle Curve
Mike Minor’s average WAR per season through his first seven seasons: 1.8
Mike Minor’s WAR through his first seven starts of 2019: 2.4
His curveball hasn’t been responsible for this momentous blossoming we’ve seen from this year (in fact it’s usually one of his less effective offerings), but when it’s working in conjunction with his devastating fastball and changeup the results are great, as we see here.
Touki Toussaint’s Curveball
The only thing more up and down than the season Toussaint has had is the movement on this ridiculous curveball. He could be one of the more devastating relievers in baseball if the Braves let him flourish in the bullpen, as he has so far this year.
Matt Boyd’s Slider
I hate to repeat an example twice in one article, but it’s such a striking number:
Matt Boyd’s career WAR through his first 90 games: 3.2
Matt Boyd’s 2019 WAR through 7 starts: 1.5
His wipeout slider, which registered a 17.7 pVal in 2018, was looking gorgeous today en route to nine strikeouts over seven innings of two-run ball.
Jack Flaherty’s Slider
Though it’s hard to top the 81-pitch complete game shutout that Kyle Hendricks threw opposite of him, Flaherty’s nine-strikeout day was more than respectable. It hasn’t been quite the follow up to his electric rookie campaign that we were hoping for, but the Brewers have been responsible for most of the damage done to Flaherty thus far: He has a 1.52 ERA outside of his three starts against Milwaukee.
Kyle Hendricks‘ Changeup
To say Hendricks was dealing last night would be a gross understatement, as he Maddux’ed the Cardinals in spectacular fashion, his 81 pitches representing the fewest by a Cubs pitcher in a shutout since Jon Lieber’s 78-pitch gem on May 4, 2001 (Almost the same date, we were so close). The brilliance of Hendricks’ changeup is well documented, and he used it as well as ever on Friday.