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 shout-out here in the article if your tip makes the cut.
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Shohei Ohtani’s Splitter
Shohei Ohtani’s Splitter is in the conversation for best pitch in the majors because of the ridiculous number of swings and misses he gets on the pitch, but the beauty of the pitch is mesmerizing beyond its effectiveness. To batters like Mitch Moreland the pitch looks like a fastball in the upper nineties before it drops at as sharp an angle as I’ve ever seen. Of course, that’s an anecdotal observation, but the pitch seems to defy physics. Ohtani is the best baseball player ever. Full stop.
Craig Kimbrel’s Knuckle-Curve
Craig Kimbrel had to use a fresh baseball cap as part of Joe West’s umpire crew’s mission to single-handedly eradicate the most obvious examples of pitchers possibly using foreign substances to either grip the ball effectively, or increase spin rates, or perhaps both depending on your perspective. To West’s credit, Kimbrel’s curveball did have a lower spin rate tonight, though he was still effective. His bender looked just fine even without whatever substance was on his hat.
Adam Ottavino’s Slider
Adam Ottavino was able to throw his typically superb slider through a torrential downpour that forced the suspension of the game right after this at-bat.
Adalbert Alzolay’s Sinker
Adalbert Alzolay pitched well in yesterday’s early Wrigley field game and further cemented his spot in the Cubs pitching rotation. Alzolay has great stuff and showed good command of his sinker on pitches like this one that froze Tucker Barnhart.
Michael Fulmer’s Changeup
Michael Fulmer has taken well to his move to the bullpen and the freedom it allows him to let his best stuff fly for an inning at a time. Fulmer has a tight slider he throws in the low nineties, but his best strikeout pitch yesterday was his changeup. Fulmer got Odor way out in front of this change piece on a night Odor had four hits including a home run.
Jordan Lyles‘ Curveball
Jordan Lyles has had one of my favorite curveballs the last few years and now that he is a better pitcher holistically his curveball is exposed to a wider audience. The slow-motion shot displays the remarkable trajectory of Lyles’ curve.
Sean Manaea’s Slider
Sean Manaea tied Lyles for most strikeouts in the majors with eight on a night that lacked a truly great performance. Manaea was able to use his well-commanded repertoire to cut through the Rangers’ lineup like butter. This slider to Jared Walsh starts on the outside third and runs well into the opposite batter’s box.
Gregory Soto’s Sinker
Gregory Soto was in a tough spot with runners on first and third and one out with Giancarlo Stanton at the plate and Aaron Judge on deck. Soto used his slider to get five swinging strikes in a row before placing his sinker on the outside black at 99 MPH to escape the jam.
Gerrit Cole’s Changeup
Gerrit Cole did not have his best stuff last night, but still only allowed one run while showing flashes of brilliance. Cole was able to get Niko Goodrum to swing through a changeup with sharp lateral movement at ninety miles per hour to end the second inning.
Dinelson Lamet’s Slider
Dinelson Lamet has had a frustrating start to the season while he works himself back from his elbow injury through setbacks and slow progress and last night showed flashes of the dominance he has displayed in the past. Lamet was able to get José Altuve to swing over the top of his hard slider.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)