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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Kendall Graveman’s Sinker
Kendall Graveman showed why his former teammates on the Mariners were so upset with Mariners’ management for trading Graveman to the Astros before Friday’s trade deadline. Graveman struck out three Giants hitters to get a four-out hold on his debut setting up in front of Ryan Pressly. Graveman threw multiple front door sinkers that hitters gave up on before the ball easily gets back to the plate.
Touki Toussaint’s Curveball
Touki Toussaint got beat up a little bit last night by the improved Braves lineup, but he also flashed the stuff that keeps his ceiling so high. Toussaint’s curveball gets enormous break and comes in slow at under 80 MPH to get hitters out in front before the pitch moves off the plate.
Devin Williams‘ Changeup
Devin Williams pitched well last night and the Brewers hope Williams can find some consistency to turn around what has been a disappointing season after Williams’ breakout in 2020. Williams struggled with his control somewhat, but he came out of his inning of work unscathed and showed the changeup that at its peak is one of the best pitches in the game.
Corbin Burnes‘ Cutter
Corbin Burnes throws both his sinker and cutter at close to the same speed so even hitters like Austin Riley who are locked in and seeing the ball well can’t tell which way a pitch at over 95 MPH is going to break. Riley looks like he’s reacting off the sinker, and by the time he realizes the pitch is moving away from him and not toward him, he’s already pot-committed and flails at a pitch that ends up off the plate. Corbin Burnes‘ repertoire viewed through the beautiful and illuminating Atlanta camera angle is art.
Sonny Gray’s Sinker
Sonny Gray is an underrated pitcher, maybe because of his quiet demeanor and the relatively small media market in Cincinnati, but since his move to the Reds, he’s reached the level his prospect status predicted. Gray’s last pitch of the night is a sinker that Dominic Smith thought was a ball but seems to get good meat on the inner third of the plate.
Cole Sulser’s Changeup
I’m a little surprised that Sulser didn’t get moved in the fury of action before the deadline, but it’s possible the Orioles actually think he can help the team whenever Mike Elias and ownership decide to start trying to put a roster together that has a realistic chance at making the playoffs. Sulser has a great changeup that looks to have some knuckling action to my eye.
Manuel Rodríguez’s Cutter
Manuel Rodríguez reminds me of Brusdar Graterol with his short, stocky frame that belies the strength of his stuff. Rodriguez also throws a triple-digit sinker like Graterol, but my favorite pitch from his outing yesterday was this cutter at nearly 90 MPH that looks to me like it has the break of a slider and was precisely placed on the outside black.
Jonathan Loáisiga’s Curveball
Jonathan Loáisiga primarily relies on his sinker and changeup in his role as a reliever, but Loáisiga has a curveball that to my untrained eye flashes plus. With three quality pitches, Loáisiga has a sufficient repertoire to be a starter, but his has health betrayed him in the past and his move to the bullpen has let his sinker and changeup play up.
Kevin Gausman’s Splitter
I have no sympathy for Jose Altuve’s anger at the umpire’s strike call on this pitch that comes in below the broadcast strike zone box because the previous pitch was also a splitter in virtually the same spot that the umpire also called a strike. The pitch is borderline, but it’s too close to take at a minimum.
Zac Gallen’s Knuckle-Curve
Zac Gallen is one of the few bright spots for the D-Backs during this disappointing season. Gallen is pitching with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament, but he’s still pitching at a high level. After watching Masahiro Tanaka pitch for most of his MLB career with a partially torn UCL, I think Gallen is making the right decision to keep pitching and not have surgery until necessary despite the D-Backs putrid record. He may never need surgery and his stuff still looks good.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)