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.
Jordan Zimmerman’s Curveball
I am becoming a believer in the renaissance of Jordan Zimmermann.
Some of you had a little coffee come out of your nose after reading that statement, which … makes sense. Zimmermann’s last respectable — let alone good — season was in 2015, and he’s fallen completely out of consideration as being a useful fantasy option. Having watched the lion’s share of his first two outings, though, what he lacks in the mid-90s velocity of his former self he’s making up for with elite command and incredible movement, as seen here with this devastating 12-6 curveball that makes Luke Voit look silly.
Adam Ottavino’s Fastball
Adam Ottavino is no stranger to Nastiest Pitch articles, but it’s his maybe-the-best-in-baseball slider that has propelled Ottavino to GIF tournament victories and Pitcher List fame. As I sat watching him face the Tigers, eyes peeled for yet another of his disgusting sliders, it was this two-seamer that caught my attention and was too good to pass up. Hitters have to look for the slider with two strikes, making this 95 mph fastball moving back to the corner unhittable. Like us, the best Miguel Cabrera can do is look at it. (Thanks @reedmotulsky for the tip!)
Edubray Ramos’s Curveball
Philadelphia Phillies middle reliever and breaking-ball specialist Edubray Ramos gets Jake Noll swinging with this nasty curveball. While Ramos throws a heavy dose of sliders and this may be a slower, loopier variation of it, the incredible depth of this offering compels me to call it a curve. In any case, it’s a filthy pitch that starts in the outer third and stays right over the corner while dropping from letters to shoe-tops.
Zach Eflin’s Sinker
Zach Eflin turned in last night’s most eye-catching performance, facing a tough Washington Nationals lineup and pitching to a 5.0 IP, 0 R, 3 H, 1 BB, 9 K line. In lieu of overpowering stuff, Eflin relies on great command and a good mix of pitches that all work off of his sinker, highlighted by this one to Victor Robles.
Anthony DeSclafani’s Slider
Anthony DesClafani is able to hide his breaking pitches extremely well by maintaining consistent mechanics and release across his different pitches. Yasmani Grandal is completely fooled by this offering, seeing it as a fastball out of DeSclafani’s hand and then left helpless when the pitch falls off a cliff.
Zack Greinke’s Changeup
This changeup from Zack Greinke is pure filth! Greinke did it all last night, clubbing two home runs and driving in four to go along with 10 strikeouts over six innings. Home runs included, though, this is the highlight I can’t stop watching.
Shane Greene’s Slider
You don’t often see a catcher stab at a pitch unless there’s a knuckleballer on the mound, but even Tigers catcher Grayson Greiner was surprised by how much this Shane Greene slider moved. Clint Frazier flinched, and the pitch ended up down the middle!
Max Scherzer’s Changeup
In the most anticipated at-bat of the 2019 season, Bryce Harper’s homecoming began with heavy rain, 40,000 fans booing and this unhittable changeup. (His evening finished on a much higher note, but that’s another topic for another article.) The first two offerings of the at-bat nearly warranted appearances here as well — a 96 mph fastball that painted the low-and-away corner and an 86 mph cutter tucked under the hands — but this one was undoubtedly the nastiest pitch of the night. There are moments when Max Scherzer’s change lacks this kind of depth, but the bottom dropped out of this beauty and it was enough to finally strike out Harper after an epic battle.
Is it possible that DeSclafani pitch was a knuckle curve?
Hi Derrick. That is possible and it’s a good observation. Frankly it was a better pitch than his curve has been of late, so I quickly jumped to assuming it was the slider. This one looks kind of slurvey to me, but the 82mph would suggest you may be right and perhaps it’s a sign of an improving knuckle-curve. Good catch and thanks for reaching out!