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.
Jose Berrios’ Curveball – The Twins starter struck out 12 Rangers in seven shutout innings on his way to 18 whiffs Sunday. Not only did he give the hook to first baseman Ronald Guzman above, but he also had Adrian Beltre auditioning for Dancing with the Stars with his trademark pitch.
Chris Sale’s Slider – Sure, Sale could’ve made an appearance here for hitting 100 mph with his fastball on his 92nd pitch. But he swooped in with Death’s scythe to turn Mariners second baseman Dee Gordon into a human gyroscope and earn yet another nod for one of baseball’s best offerings. The Red Sox ace was lethal with both pitch types, as he picked up 14 whiffs with his four-seamer and 10 with his slider (26 overall) to help him rack up 13 K’s.
Paul Blackburn’s Changeup – No, not every pitch thrown by an A’s hurler that appears in this space has to come from Blake Treinen. We’re not that obsessed. In fact, this changeup from Blackburn sits 13 mph or so slower than the closer’s sinker…even if it does have a similar shape. (Fine, you got us.)
Fernando Rodney’s Changeup – Rodney threw a similar pitch to Beltre to seal the Rangers’ fate and set off his bow-and-arrow celebration for his 17th save, but he brought Jurickson Profar to a knee with this change two batters earlier after setting him up with a diving 94 mph sinker.
Kirby Yates’ Splitter – The Padres reliever sports a 41.2% K rate on his go-to swing-and-miss pitch, and the Giants’ Brandon Crawford found out why on this ninth-inning whiff.
Mark Melancon’s Curveball – Former (and possibly soon-to-be) Giants closer Mark Melancon showed off a majestic knuckle curve in the 11-inning win over the Padres, getting Eric Hosmer to chase in the eighth.
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.