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 shoutout here in the article if your tip makes the cut.
As an added bonus for PL+ members, let us know about a pitch on the PL+ Discord, and if your suggestion is included the next day you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free t-shirt!
Max Scherzer‘s Two-Seam Fastball
On the surface this was not a great pitch, but this two-seamer from Max Scherzer was the most important pitch of the night; The first pitch of the 2020 season. A season that just three weeks ago still seemed improbable. It’s been 267 days since the final pitch of the 2019 World Series and a lot has happened in that time (murder hornets, anyone?), but now that baseball is finally back we can all breath a collective sigh of relief that some sort of normalcy has returned to our lives. We’ve missed putting together Nastiest Pitches for you all and so excited to be back what we love. Let’s get on with the GIFs!
Max Scherzer‘s Changeup
Scherzer completely fooled Aaron Hicks here with his best changeup of the night. Scherzer got knocked around Thursday to the tune of four earned runs while still managing to rack up 11 strikeouts in 5.1 IP. His start, and the game eventually, was cut short by what was essentially a monsoon that rolled through D.C. The Yankees’ lineup had already done its damage and Scherzer earned the loss.
Max Scherzer‘s Slider
Scherzer may have had a bad night in the stats department but he did have his slider working for him as Gary Sanchez found out on this 1-2 pitch. Even on a bad night, Scherzer has shown time and time that he can still get outs and show flashes of his dominant self. Expect him to bounce back next time out against the Blue Jays.
Dustin May‘s Sinker
Nick and Alex hosted a watch party in our Discord channel last night and this pitch generated a few audible gasps among the audience. Pablo Sandoval doesn’t quite have the same bat speed once did, but there was no way he was going to make solid contact here. We weren’t quite sure what to expect out of Dustin May in an opening day start on short notice, but he certainly held his own. With Clayton Kershaw on the IL for the foreseeable future, Dustin May should continue to get opportunities in the Dodgers’ rotation.
Dustin May’s Slider
This breaker by Dustin May, which he calls a slider but actually has more of a curveball-like break to it, clocked in at a flaming hot 94 (!!) MPH and looks nothing like a traditional slider or curve. What exactly was it? Was it a bird? Was it a plane? Does it matter? Who cares what it’s classified as, it’s straight up filth and Brandon Crawford stood no chance of making contact with it as it disappeared under his bat.
Drew Smyly‘s Curveball
Drew Smyly came in for the fifth inning after four solid innings of work out of Johhny Cueto, and Max Muncy was definitely not sitting curveball here. Smyly has always had a solid strikeout rate with his curveball and he should be able to continue that success in whatever role he ends up having for the 2020 San Fransisco Giants.
Dany Jimenez’s Curveball
Dany Jimenez was a Rule 5 draft pick in the offseason who made his major league debut Thursday night. Signed out of the Dominican Republic in 2015 by the Blue Jays, Jimenez has a fastball that can hit 97 and a promising breaking ball that should be his out pitch. The nerves were racing for him on a night he walked three and gave up a run, but the Giants invested in him for a reason and hopefully next time out he can show the world exactly why he made it to the show.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner may be featured in our Nastiest Pitches tournament midway through the season.