Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious high-definition GIFs. We want to bring you the highest caliber of nastiness possible, so if you see a nasty pitch, please tell us about it. You can tweet @PitcherList to let us know and we’ll give you a shout-out here in the article if your tip makes the cut.
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Framber Valdez‘s Curveball
Framber Valdez‘s dominant performance last night was driven by his stupendous curveball. Valdez helped get the Astros to Game 7 with curveball after curveball in six innings of action. This curve was spotted perfectly down and on the outside corner to catch the struggling Joey Wendle looking. This kind of performance from Valdez on a big stage may put him on more fantasy radars in 2021.
Cristian Javier‘s Changeup
Cristian Javier was part of the all hands on deck strategy by Astros manager Dusty Baker last night. Javier was able to take over for Valdez and continue to flummox Rays hitters. Austin Meadows was out in front of this pitch that had great lateral movement to keep Meadows from fouling it off. The slow-motion cut gives a great view of Javier’s grip and the sidespin on the pitch.
AJ Minter’s Cutter
AJ Minter and his mullet-beard combo were a ball of energy during his first career start. Minter was allowed to go through the Dodgers full lineup one time and he cut through a great offense like a hot knife through butter. Minter struck out seven of the ten Dodgers hitters he faced last night. Minter’s lone blemish, a first-inning double, meant he faced Mookie Betts twice to complete his three innings. Betts was caught off balance by this Minter cutter that breaks just enough to finish right on the outside black. (h/t to PL+ member AetherJ)
José Alvarado’s Sinker
The Rays bullpen is so good and has such voluminous depth that the loss of José Alvarado was hardly felt during the Rays playoff run. Alvarado’s return is just another stellar option for Kevin Cash to turn to help with the condensed playoff schedule in 2020. This sinker by Alvarado is spotted perfectly at 98 MPH. A better camera angle would help show the break that Alvarado creates on his sinker.
Ryan Pressly‘s Curveball
Ryan Pressly finished off the Astros game 6 win over the Rays last night. Pressly is one of the players left from the Astros playoff run in 2019, and Dusty Baker has leaned on him with so few trusted options. Pressly used his curve more than his previous performance during which he primarily used his slider as his out pitch. Pressly’s curve looks to be in better form than the slider to my eye. After swinging through this curve I think Joey Wendle would agree. It was a tough night for Wendle who is seen swinging through curveballs to start and finish today’s NP.