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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Jonathan Loáisiga’s Sinker
Jonathan Loáisiga earned a tough blown save in the box score at the end of this at-bat when Nick Madrigal displayed his ridiculous ability to put the bat on the ball on a pitch way out of the zone. It’s really tough to get Madrigal to swing and miss, and it takes a pitch like this 99 MPH sinker to induce one. The movement on this pitch is ridiculous.
Carlos Rodón’s Slider
Carlos Rodón and Jordan Montgomery had themselves a duel last night. Rodón relied on his fastball in the upper-nineties up in the zone paired with a vicious back-foot slider that the Yankees’ hitters could not lay off or touch. Rodón’s last pitch of the game was a slider at ninety MPH that made Aaron Judge look silly.
Jordan Montgomery’s Curveball
C.C. Sabathia has spoken on his podcast about his mentoring of Jordan Montgomery and spoken highly of his potential to elevate his ceiling from mid-rotation starter to big game option. Montgomery is starting to get more swings and misses and has seen his CSW% rise as a result. Montgomery uses and commands at least four pitches, but his best strikeout pitch is his curveball, as Yoán Moncada can attest.
Chris Paddack’s Changeup
Chris Paddack pitched at an ace level for long periods in 2019, but injuries and difficulty avoiding home runs have taken some of the shine off Paddack. Paddack still has the ability to vefuddle hitters with multiple offerings including his stellar changeup. (h/t to PL+ member King Hippo).
Jordan Romano’s Slider
Jordan Romano has pitched well since his DL stint and will be a key piece on the Blue Jays bullpen as the team seems ready to fight for a playoff spot. Romano’s money pitch is his hard slider that gets good late movement downward.
Aaron Nola’s Knuckle-Curve
Aaron Nola seems to fly under the radar to some degree and my theory is that Nola is so consistently good that his abilities are taken for granted. I’m sure Nola gets plenty of love in Philly. Nola’s Knuckle-Curve is second only to Clayton Kershaw’s version in my pantheon of pitches. (h/t to PL+ member Eric Wolfe).
Marcus Stroman’s Split-Change
Marcus Stroman told us this offseason his new changeup was ready for prime time and he was not lying. Stroman used the changeup heavily last night and it helped him keep hitters off balance. Stroman’s change seems distinct to me in some way, but I can’t quite put a finger on it. Maybe it’s a little firmer like Lucas Giolito’s version? I’m not sure. (h/t to PL+ member nvita).
Ryan Thompson’s Slider
Ryan Thompson is a fun pitcher to watch because he’s one of the few side-arm/submarine-style pitchers left in the majors. There’s less diversity in pitching styles and mechanics than ever as pitchers optimize for big velocity. This pitch gets a decent chunk of the plate, but the pronounced horizontal break and the angle the ball comes from gets Jonathan Davis to freeze and let a strike go by.
Tejay Antone’s Curveball
Tejay Antone seems to have locked down the #1 spot in the Reds’ bullpen even if he’s not always the pitcher to finish games. Antone is used for multiple innings and against the most difficult part of lineups as Lucas Sims and Amir Garrett have hit some speed bumps in the early part of the season. (h/t to PL+ member Ben Bingham).
Trevor Bauer’s Two-Seamer
Trevor Bauer had his start pushed back from Thursday to Friday for some extra rest and Bauer seemed fresh as the Dodgers let him throw 126 pitches. Those 126 pitches included 11 Ks including this two-seamer that Buster Posey seemed to read as a ball all the way before the pitch darted back onto the outside third of the strike zone.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)