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 Nastiest Pitches of the Season 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.
Stephen Strasburg’s Changeup
Stephen Strasburg has had enough of the Nationals playoff jokes. He hasn’t come right out and announced that fact, but his actions speak more than enough to make up for that. Strasburg has been incredible in this postseason, with a 1.89 ERA across his three starts, none of which was shorter than six innings, and is striking out 13.7 per nine. The gem of his postseason came on Monday, as he spun seven innings of shutout, 12 strikeout ball. With a 3-0 lead against the Cardinals in the NLCS, Strasburg will almost certainly be pitching for a World Series ring soon. And I, for one, am amped to see what he can do.
Daniel Ponce de Leon’s Curveball
Daniel Ponce de Leon allowed an earned run during his two-inning outing on Monday, though that run ultimately meant nothing as the Cardinals were already too deep in the hole. Ponce de Leon has been a solid bullpen contributor for the Redbirds this season, and has been perfectly respectable this postseason.
Tanner Rainey’s Slider
Though he got rocked early in the Dodgers series, Tanner Rainey has been a lockdown reliever since that game, with just a single baserunner allowed over two and two-thirds innings. Rainey was a strikeout machine in the regular season (13.8 K/9) and will be an important part of stopping either the Yankees’ or Astros’ offenses come World Series time.
Jack Flaherty’s Curveball
Jack Flaherty was one of the best pitchers in baseball this season, and so far he’d shown that in the playoffs. The Nationals, however, cracked him, tagging him for four earned runs across just four innings of work. Flaherty’s bomb comes at the worst possible time for St. Louis, who now needs to win four games in a row to avoid elimination.
Fernando Rodney’s Changeup
He had a very rough regular season, but the 42-year-old Fernando Rodney has been money in the playoffs so far. He pitched a perfect eighth for the Nats on Monday, striking out two in the process. Who knows how he’s managed to be effective to this ripe old age, but he looks like he could go another 10 years at this point.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner will be featured in the Nastiest Pitches of the Season GIF Tournament.