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 this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the First Quarter Contest. 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.
Aaron Nola‘s Curveball
Aaron Nola’s curveball can sit you down even when he completely misses his spot, like seen here on this offering to Brian Dozier. Nola wanted the pitch on the outer edge, but with this kind of movement Dozier’s completely frozen when the curve arrives at the front-door. (Thanks @DanDohertyMMA for the tip!)
Luis Castillo‘s Changeup
Luis Castillo’s 2018 second half rightfully propelled him onto everyone’s radar as a potential emerging ace, and it’s in large part because of his changeup. A true Money Pitch in 2018, Castillo’s change drew an incredible 25.9% swinging-strike rate and was responsible for 105 strikeouts. Two starts into a young 2019, it appears the Castillo changeup hasn’t missed a beat (although it has already missed many bats). Remember the days when 87 mph was a good fastball?
Sean Doolittle‘s Slider
Bryce Harper takes on Sean Doolittle in another matchup against his former team. While the strikeout pitch in the at-bat was a fastball, this 0-1 slider was the offering that deserved an appearance here.
Gerrit Cole‘s Fastball
Gerrit Cole threw 400 more four-seamers in 2018 than 2017, and this pitch illustrates why increased fastball usage led to his emergence as a premier front-line starter. This heater to Clint Frazier followed an 88 mph changeup, which made 99 seem like …
That’s not fair.
Charlie Morton‘s Curveball
One the best signings of the offseason, Charlie Morton, has been quietly turning in near-elite production, and he’s looked sharp to start 2019. Along with a mid- to upper 90s heater, it’s Morton’s curveball that keys his success. This one was so nasty it gave Yoan Moncada flashbacks of his 217 strikeout 2018.
Max Fried‘s Curveball
Max Fried burst onto the scene this past week by carrying a perfect game into the sixth inning in his season debut against the Chicago Cubs, and he followed that outing with another six-inning gem against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Fried has a wicked mix of plus pitches highlighted by a fastball that comfortably sits 94 to 95 mph and regularly touches 97 mph. His curveball, dare I say, reminds me of that of Clayton Kershaw. Coming in anywhere from 74 to 79 mph, it creates a devastating change of pace and has one of the highest spin rates of any curve in the majors. This kid is going to be special.