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 to see if it will be in contention during our August Nastiest GIF Tournament. 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.
Max Fried’s Curveball
I know what you’re thinking. That’s not a strike. Before I address that point let’s just acknowledge the raw nastiness of this pitch. A big bender with amazing side-to-side movement spotted perfectly down and in to Leurys Garcia. Now, to the umpire’s call. The TV pitch box is far from perfect and it’s not where the pitch ends up but where it crosses the plate. It’s still probably not a strike. Where are the robot umps when you need ’em? (At the Atlantic League)
Shane Bieber’s Fastball
Trevor Bauer admits in “The MVP Machine” by Ben Lindbergh and Travis Sawchik that he’s a terrible athlete who has to be on the cutting edge of pitching development and work harder than anyone else to succeed in the majors. Bauer has passed on some of that knowledge to former teammate Shane Bieber, and Bieber is a good athlete. Bieber spots this fastball to Joey Wendle with precision. The slow-motion cut shows, as well as HD TV can, the four-seam spin and spin axis. It’s mesmerizing to watch.
Dinelson Lamet’s Slider
I don’t know for sure whether this Dinelson Lamet breaking ball is one of his two sliders or a curveball as classified, but I’m pretty confident it’s nasty no matter what. I think Evan Longoria would agree as he swung meekly through a pitch he saw as middle-middle before it veered left and broke down sharply out of the zone.
Blake Treinen’s Sinker
Blake Treinen shows how fickle reliever performance can be year to year. Treinen was one of the best relievers in the majors last year but has battled injury and ineffectiveness in 2019. This sinker at 98 MPH with great tail shows Treinen’s potential. He may be hitting a groove as the A’s battle for a playoff spot down the stretch.
Tommy Kahnle’s Changeup
Tommy Kahnle has been the perfect piece to slot in for the injured Dellin Betances in the vaunted Yankees’ bullpen. Kahnle wasn’t sharp last night and gave up 2 runs, but he still flashed his money pitch this year: the changeup. At 92 MPH with nice drop—this pitch is nasty, and it’s helped by the maximum effort Kahnle throws it with. The hitter sees all that effort and gears up for the near triple-digit fastball before the ball only comes in at 92 MPH.
Edgar Garcia’s Slider
Edgar Garcia is not the most well-known pitcher in baseball, but one of my pleasures in making nastiest pitches is finding hidden gem relievers before they hit the big time. Garcia gave up some runs last night and may never figure it out, but his filthy slider will give him a shot.
Edwin Diaz’s Slider
Edwin Diaz has not pitched as badly as his place in Mickey Callaway’s doghouse would make one think. He’s pitched his worst in some of his most high leverage opportunities, but he’s continued to miss bats at an elite rate all year. Sliders at 92 MPH are hard to hit.
Aaron Nola’s Changeup
Aaron Nola makes lots of hitters look silly, but I’m particularly impressed with this pitch because the hitter, Jeff McNeil, is hard to strikeout. McNeil seems to try to foul this off at the end, but the pitch has just enough drop to avoid his bat.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner may be featured in the August GIF Tournament.