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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Brandon Woodruff’s Slider
Woodruff fanned 11, with the only blemish coming on a flyball from Kyle Farmer as he and Kolten Wong helped keep the Brewers’ playoff hopes alive with a 5-1 win over the Reds. The righty has been on a roll as it was his third consecutive double-digit strikeout performance. Here a perfectly located slider on the outside corner has Jonathan India helpless in his second at-bat of the night.
Max Fried’s Curveball
Last night’s divisional showdown between Philadelphia and Atlanta featured a duel between two southpaws, Max Fried and Ranger Suárez. The Phillies worked up Fried’s pitch count as he left after only five innings, but he did rack up eight strikeouts, including this one of the rookie Bryson Stott on a curveball that just fell straight off the table. Unfortunately for Fried and Atlanta, what appeared like an innocuous sacrifice fly from Matt Vierling in the second, ended up being the game-winner.
Hunter Greene’s Fastball
He’s one of the most exciting young pitchers to watch. Last time out, in his first start back from a shoulder strain no less, he became the first pitcher in the statcast era to record eight strikeouts on fastballs at 101 MPH or higher. Last night, his fastball returned an unbelievable 16 whiffs on 29 swings, including this one to Jace Peterson for his third of eight strikeouts on the night.
Zac Gallen’s Curveball
Gallen was brilliant again and baffled the Dodgers through eight innings, allowing just one earned run and two hits while piling up a career-best 13 strikeouts. There simply aren’t enough superlatives for the right-hander, who now has a 2.46 ERA and 0.89 WHIP through 29 starts. Unfortunately for him and the D-Backs, the Dodgers found a way to win by scratching off two runs in the ninth. Gallen’s curveball returned ten whiffs on 19 swings, including this one to Cody Bellinger in his first at-bat.
Michael Wacha’s Changeup
It’ll be interesting to see where Wacha ends up this offseason as an impending free agent. The Red Sox have had a dreadful season in the AL East basement, but you certainly can’t blame the former Cardinal as he’s been fantastic with a 2.70 ERA and 1.06 WHIP through 21 starts. The change has once again been his go-to pitch as its returned a 35.1% whiff rate. This one fooled rookie Oswaldo Cabrera in his second at-bat of the night before he eventually drew a leadoff walk.
Justin Verlander’s Curveball
The two-time AL Cy Young award winner hasn’t missed a beat at all this year and last night was no different. In the third, he schooled rookie catcher Adley Rutschman with a first-pitch fastball on the outside corner for a strike, followed by a front door slider for strike two. And then this curveball for his second of four strikeouts on the night. Unfortunately for the Astros and their ace, the next guy was just a little bit better.
Kyle Bradish’s Slider
Fans at Camden Yards were treated to a terrific pitcher’s duel that saw the 26-year-old rookie nearly go the distance as he topped Justin Verlander and the Astros, 2-0. Although it didn’t miss a ton of bats with just five whiffs on 23 swings, Bradish leaned on his slider and threw it 39 times out of 100 pitches. One of his ten strikeout victims on the night, Yainer Diaz, whiffed on this picture-perfect slider in his first at-bat of the night.
Shane Bieber’s Curveball
The Guardians continue to coast their way to a division title as last night their ace Shane Bieber dispatched the White Sox with another strong effort. The right-hander pitched into the eighth and was his usual incredibly efficient self with no walks. He retired Elvis Andrus in the sixth on three-straight curveballs, the second one here made the former Ranger look as if he were swinging a garden hose.
Jack Flaherty’s Slider
Sidelined by injuries, it’s been a season to forget for the right-hander. But he’s at least finishing the year on a strong note and he could be percolating at just the right time for the playoff-bound Cardinals. The 26-year-old finished his outing yesterday with nine punchouts, including this one on a terrific slider to Jake Cronenwoth in his first at-bat.
Ryan Helsley’s Fastball
Helsley’s heater is in a league of its own. Called upon to guard a 5-3 lead in the eighth, the Cardinals closer surrendered a solo dinger to Manny Machado. Displeased, he unleashed his fury to the following batter, Brandon Drury. Good luck facing 103 coming out of the afternoon shadows. You could almost imagine Drury just thinking to himself, ‘I can’t see it, I hope it’s a ball.’ Famous last words.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)