Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous day’s games. If you see something you think should be included here be sure to tweet @PitcherList to let us know. Or, if you’re a PL+ Member and part of our Discord, shout it out in the Nastiest Pitches channel. If your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free t-shirt. If you’re not already a PL+ member, you’re missing out!
Zach Thompson’s Curveball
This hypnotizing curveball from Thompson had the most vertical break in the game between the Cubs and Cardinals, buckling Heyward’s knees a bit. It was a pretty ugly day for pitching in Wrigley, but Thompson posted a respectable 4 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 3 Ks.
Miles Mikolas‘ Sinker
Mikolas got the win because he was able to squeeze out 5 IP on a day when the Cardinals scored 14 runs. He struggled otherwise. This sinker got an excellent 17″ of horizontal break yet also a solid 22″ of vertical break. Mikolas also came pretty close to nailing the spot.
Josiah Gray’s Curveball
Votto has been more of a free swinger as he’s aged, but it’s not often Votto looks silly swinging a bat. And this was the 2nd pitch in a row that it happened. The previous one was nearly identical to this curveball. Gray is very young and has a lot of promise, but his barrel rate is 2nd percentile according to Statcast.
Elieser Hernandez’s Slider
Hernandez missed his spot here, but this slider was still effective. He throws it a lot at 37% and it has an above-average Swinging Strike % at 18.6%, but otherwise, it is pretty average.
Mark Leiter Jr.’s Changeup
Choking up wasn’t enough for Corey Dickerson on this changeup. Overall, Leiter Jr. has not been effective in 2022, but his changeup has been. It averages a mere 750 RPMs, the lowest in baseball. It has allowed a .231 wOBA, .221 xwOBA, and 7.7% HC%. He has used it just 13% of the time though.
Richard Bleier’s Changeup
Bleier throws a good changeup here, but throughout his career, it hasn’t been a big part of his arsenal. He has been a low K%, low BB% sinkerballer who has seen success limiting damage with consistently low barrel percentages. It is always fun to see the different ways guys have figured out how to be successful with what they’ve got.
Shane Bieber’s Knuckle Curve
Bieber’s knuckle curve has resulted in strong numbers in 2022. 37% O-Swing%, 18% Swinging Strike%, .188 wOBA, and .188 xwOBA. It continues to be one of the prettiest curveballs to watch.
Shane McClanahan’s Slider
McClanahan has been dominant all year. There have been lots of nasty sliders like this one. He has been so good it is hard to pick just one stat. How about his 30.9% K-BB?
Emmanuel Clase’s Cutter
Clase dots this 100.1 mph cutter to Rutschman on the inside edge. It is the hardest thrown cutter on average by 1.4 mph. It also has a 48.2% O-Swing% and .213 wOBA. He has yet to give up a home run on it in 2022 despite throwing it 72% of the time.
Joe Musgrove’s Curveball
On a night when he took a no-hitter into the 8th, he spun this beauty in the first. Wong would be the one to break up his bid, but he had no chance here. Musgrove is having another excellent season.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)