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!
Kevin Gausman’s Splitter
New year, new home, same old magic from Kevin Gausman, who introduced himself to a buzzing Rogers Centre crowd on Saturday with this delightful 85 mph splitter to strikeout former Blue Jay Marcus Semien on his return to Toronto. Welcome back to Nastiest Pitches from Pitcher List in 2022 – it’s like we never left.
Casey Mize’s Splitter
Let’s go back-to-back on the split-finger and check in on Detroit’s young phenom Casey Mize, who delivered an absolute gem to strike out Yasmani Grandal in a tight spot with the count 2-2. This beautiful 86 mph splitter had barely any finger coverage on the baseball and is a pitch Mize will look to use to rack up whiffs this year. Thanks to PL+ member nvita for the tip on this one.
Sonny Gray’s Sinker
I loved the Minnesota Twins going after Sonny Gray in the offseason. After trading away José Berríos last year, it was a statement of intent for the front of their rotation. He answered the call with aplomb yesterday, this wondrous 91 mph two-seamer nicking the bottom corner of Mitch Haniger’s strike zone for a trademark Sonny K.
Drew Rasmussen’s Cutter
This is fiery-nasty from the Tampa Bay Rays‘ Drew Rasmussen. Acquired from the Brewers last season, Rasmussen opened the game yesterday and threw four strong innings to set up a win. This vicious 96 mph cutter had a remarkable 20″ of vertical movement. Yikes! Robinson Chirinos didn’t stand a chance.
Chris Bassitt’s Slider
The most underrated pitching pick up of the offseason was undoubtedly the New York Mets‘ addition of Chris Bassitt from the Oakland Athletics. Bassitt dominated last season and continued in that fashion in his first start with his new ball club, throwing six scoreless innings and inducing eight strikeouts. This ripping 75 mph slider to fool Lane Thomas was vintage Bassitt.
Justin Verlander’s Slider
Welcome back Justin Verlander, it’s been too long. The sight of the veteran hurling his elite stuff brought joy to many across the baseball world yesterday. Verlander struck out reigning MVP Shohei Ohtani twice in this contest, the first thanks to this deceptively brilliant 85 mph slider low and inside. The perfect return.
Noah Syndergaard’s Slider
And now to another making a welcome return to the mound – Noah Syndergaard. “Thor” shook off a disastrous couple of years of injuries to record an impressive win for the Angels up against Verlander. His only strikeout through five and a third innings was this beautiful 86 mph slider to fell Aledmys Díaz.
Will Smith’s Slider
The World Series Champion closer from 2021 didn’t see the love he deserved last year and, yes he did start 2022 off with a wobble after giving up a run with a two run lead in the ninth inning. But Will Smith still picked up the save because that is what he does best. On his way he delivered this vicious 81 mph slider to strikeout Brandon Drury.
Pablo López’s Changeup
When I sat down to watch the Giants and Marlins matchup today I had only one thought, and I smiled. That thought was “I am going to see a nasty Pablo López changeup today.” And, here it is in all its glory. 90 mph clipping the bottom of the strike zone. On your bike, Steven Duggar!
Carlos Rodón’s Four-Seam Fastball
The last word must go to former White Sox and now Giants ace Carlos Rodón, who struck out 12 batters across five innings in a sensational display against the Marlins. Rodon smoked hitters high in the zone with his four-seamer and it was a joy to behold. Jorge Soler was blown away right from the off with three straight heaters, and was polished off by this 98 mph beauty.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)