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.
As a bonus for PL+ members, let us know about a pitch on the PL+ Discord in the Nasty Pitches Channel, and if your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free T-shirt!
Edwin Díaz’s Four-Seam Fastball
Edwin Díaz came into the game last night with the Mets holding a one-run lead and was able to get a quick out on a nasty slider before Jake Cronenworth strode to the plate. Díaz froze Jake Cronenworth with this four-seam fastball, with so much run it looks like a two-seamer, at 99 MPH. (h/t to PL+ member KingHippo)
Aaron Civale’s Splitter
Who knows where the Indians would be without Aaron Civale and rotation mate Shane Bieber. Civale used all four of his pitches to keep the Mariners’ hitters off balance. The slow-motion cut shows just how far out in front Mitch Haniger was on Civale’s splitter/changeup.
Craig Kimbrel’s Knuckle-Curve
Craig Kimbrel came in for a closer’s easiest job and finished off the Cardinals with the Cubs holding a three-run lead. Seems like Kimbrel’s Knuckle-Curve is nasty with or without his dirty hat.
Lucas Giolito’s Changeup
Lucas Giolito struck out Miguel Cabrera with a quite nasty changeup low in the zone later in the game, but I chose this change up in the zone because it gives a great view of the movement on the pitch. Haase sees a fastball just above the zone and decides to lay off before the pitch breaks downward sharply and easily makes it back to the zone.
Jacob deGrom’s Slider
The collective baseball world is hoping that deGrom’s flexor strain is manageable and that he will continue to raise the high bar he has set as the greatest pitcher in the world. deGrom was masterful and was able to get Fernando Tatís to strike out on sliders in his first two at-bats. Tatís sees a fastball close to the outside black that can push triple digits before the pitch falls off the table. (h/t to PL+ member nvita)
José Urquidy’s Changeup
José Urquidy flummoxed the Twins last night with his supreme command. Urquidy spotted this changeup precisely on the bottom of the zone to catch Trevor Larnatch looking.
Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball
Clayton Kershaw threw a bevy of disgusting sliders to get plenty of awkward swings, but I’m a sucker for his old friend the curveball. Sliders in the dirt don’t allow us to appreciate the nastiness fully, while this perfectly spotted curveball is beautiful like a work of art while displaying the full path of the pitch.
Brandon Woodruff’s Changeup
Brandon Woodruff got a couple of early strikeouts on fastballs down in the zone in the upper-nineties so I can’t blame Ka’ai Tom for swinging at this changeup that finishes well below the zone. Hitting major league pitching is extremely difficult.
Anthony DeSclafani’s Sinker
Anthony DeSclafani continued his breakout season last night with what is likely the best performance of his career. DeSclafani got this backdoor sinker to come back to the strike zone and finish off Starlin Castro. Castro’s stare at the end shows either his annoyance with the umpire’s call, or his exasperation with how good DeSclafani is.
Shohei Ohtani’s Splitter
Shohei Ohtani had another little league game including pitching, and hitting before he finished the game in right field. This splitter to Ketel Marte in the first inning set the tone for another overpowering Ohtani outing.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)