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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Max Fried‘s Curveball
Max Fried‘s dominance last night against the vaunted Dodgers lineup was a beautiful sight for everyone except Dodgers fans. Fried’s sterling performance allowed the Braves lineup the chance to win the game, and the lineup ultimately came through. He used his fastball, slider, curveball mix to great effect, but to my eye, his prettiest pitch is his big bending curveball.
Lance McCullers‘ Changeup
Two home runs were the lone blemishes for Lance McCullers on a night he pitched well enough to give his team a chance to win. Unfortunately for McCullers, the Rays pitching staff is a seemingly impenetrable force at the moment. McCullers pitched as well as I’ve seen since his return from Tommy John Surgery. He had his curveball and change working, but the change was especially effective. His performance deserved a different ending.
Walker Buehler‘s Four-Seam Fastball
Walker Buehler only lasted four innings last night as he walked five batters to drive up his pitch count. Aside from the walks, Buehler had great stuff. This well-spotted fastball at the top of the zone froze Ronald Acuña.
Andre Scrubb’s Knuckle-Curve
Andre Scrubb is one of the few pitchers in the bullpen that Astros fans have confidence in at the moment. Scrubb’s Knuckle-Curve is one of my favorite newly-discovered pitches this season. Scrubb’s breaking ball is a true 12-6 hammer that goes nose to toes to stimy hitters. (h/t to PL+ member burial)
Dustin May‘s Cutter
This cutter from Dustin May may not be particularly impressive at first watch, but with the slow-motion cut it’s easier to see how close the pitch comes to hitting Ozzie Albies. The pitch may have never been on the plate, but it was close enough to get Albies to swing before veering to an unhittable spot. That’s effective pitching against a free swinger like Albies.
Charlie Morton‘s Curveball
Charlie Morton was the head of the Rays pitching monster last night. He nonchalantly moved through the Astros lineup before the Rays bullpen carried the ball for a win. Morton’s curveball seems to have a different shape that I can’t explain well. It seems to move sideways before dropping down quickly.
Brusdar Graterol‘s Sinker
I’m no biomechanics expert, but it seems impossible for Brusdar Graterol to create triple-digit velocity with such a simple windup that seems to lack explosive athletic movement. From what little I do know about biomechanics and pitching mechanics my guess is that Graterol is able to generate velocity from his lightning-quick arm speed and the torque he creates from rotating his body quickly. It may not look explosive, but the radar gun doesn’t lie. This sinker at 100 MPH was spotted perfectly on the inside black.