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 turned in a fantastic relief effort for the Astros as they took game one in Minnesota. After relieving Zack Greinke in the fifth, Valdez finished the game with five shutout innings, adding five strikeouts in the process. He ended the eighth with a nice backfoot curveball to put away Nelson Cruz. Four of Valdez’s five strikeouts would come on the pitch.
Jesus Luzardo‘s Curveball
Jesus Luzardo didn’t last long on Tuesday, completing only 3.1 innings, but showed off his strong arsenal of pitches in his short stint. While the overall results weren’t great, Luzardo was still able to rack up five strikeouts. He was able to get Leury Garcia to swing over a nicely placed back foot curveball here in the second inning.
Lucas Giolito‘s Slider
Opposing Luzardo in this matchup was Lucas Giolito who had a much better outing than his counterpart. Giolito carried a perfect game into the seventh inning before surrendering two hits and a run in the seventh. He finished with eight strikeouts including this one of Chad Pinder on a slider away.
Blake Snell‘s Slider
Blake Snell took the ball for the Rays in their opening game of the Wild Card Series and turned in a very strong performance to lead the Rays to a 1-0 series lead. In 5.2 shutout innings, Snell struck out nine, and froze Cavan Biggio on a slider that broke the width of the plate to record his final out of the night.
Diego Castillo‘s Sinker
Diego Castillo took over for Snell and was able to end the sixth inning in just two pitches. Castillo started the seventh but was removed after allowing two baserunners by way of a hit and a hit-by-pitch. In his short outing, Castillo showed off his upper 90s sinker, including this one that got in on Randal Grichuk to elicit a whiff.
Shane Bieber‘s Knuckle-Curve
Offensive fireworks were plentiful Tuesday night in Cleveland. Shane Bieber struggled to limit hard contact and didn’t manage to make it through five innings while surrendering seven runs. While the Yankees teed off on Bieber’s fastball, he did find some success with his knuckle-curve. He struck out Aaron Hicks to end the fourth on a breaking ball that fell out of the bottom of the zone.
Gerrit Cole‘s Knuckle-Curve
Gerrit Cole found much more success than his opponent as he cruised through seven innings picking up thirteen strikeouts. Tyler Naquin contributed thrice to that total, falling victim for the first time in the third inning on Cole’s knuckle-curve.