Author’s Note: The entire function of these daily articles is to look at the lighter side of baseball, but in the wake of yet another police-involved shooting of an unarmed black man where Duante Wright lost his life during a traffic stop, that can seem trite. It is my sincere hope that this article provides you with a break from your day-to-day but is not a distraction from the very real and very important social issues to which we, as a country and a people, still owe a lot of work, time, and energy.
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!
Diego Castillo’s Sinker
This is one of the filthiest pitches I’ve seen all year. Granted it’s only mid-April, but this is Nastiest Pitch of the Month material right here. Diego Castillo threw this ridiculous sinker that looked hittable for about 45 feet before it dropped off the plate entirely. Huge shoutout to PL+ member Clay Dunker for alerting me to this pitch—it’s gorgeous.
Freddy Peralta’s Slider
Will somebody tell Javier Báez that when they call it a frisbee slider it’s the ball that’s supposed to move like a frisbee and not the bat? Steady Freddy Peralta had a wonderful game on Monday night, throwing six strong two-hit innings with 10 strikeouts. The slider was absolutely electric on the night and was dancing all over the place. (H/t PL+ member Mike Perugini)
Zack Greinke’s Eephus
I mean… is a slo-mo really necessary? Zack Greinke got lit up on Monday night but this thing is a beauty. Pitching Ninja had my favorite tweet of the night—a side by side of this pitch and the ridiculous 102 MPH sinker from Jordan Hicks that we featured in last Thursday’s Nastiest Pitches. Yeah, this pitch was exactly half the velocity of Hicks’ sinker. Ridiculous. (H/t PL+ member Ben Bingham)
Huascar Ynoa’s Slider
Here’s a guy I’ve never heard of until tonight and now he’s on my radar. I’m glad this is a written piece because I know I’m 100% butchering the pronunciation if his name in my head and would look like a fool trying to say it aloud to you. Here’s the correct pronunciation for you—remember that, because Huascar Ynoa and his 10 strikeouts from Monday night have arrived and are here to stay. Straight up filth.
Aroldis Chapman’s Splitter
Aroldis Chapman is 33 years old and still pumping 101 MPH gas, as well as an unfair 91 MPH splitter that simply falls off of the table. It’s unhittable, and I feel bad for Lourdes Gurriel Jr. for how silly he looked here. There’s nothing you can do, man.
Gerrit Cole’s Slider
Ho hum. Another six innings and eight strikeouts for the ace of the Yankees staff. The rookie Josh Palacios probably hasn’t seen too many 89 MPH sliders like this one in his days in the minors, so we’ll excuse him for getting fooled this time. Something tells me this won’t be the last time he sees this pitch from Gerrit Cole, though. (H/t PL+ member nvita)
Yu Darvish’s Curveball
We all know Yu Darvish throws about 15 variations of the curveball, so who knows exactly which one this was. Regardless, he had a 37% CSW between his curveball and knucklecurve on Monday, which is elite and pretty much the norm for Darvish. I’m sure Phillip Evans and the rest of the Pirates were glad that Darvish was traded out of the division in the offseason and are hoping that they don’t have to face this filth again this season. (H/t PL+ member Eric Wolfe)
Alex Cobb’s Splitter
Alex Cobb’s splitter, AKA “The Thing”, had a ridiculous 16 whiffs on Monday night and a 35% CSW. Despite allowing three runs, Cobb earned the win thanks to a fantastic 10 strikeout night. The Angels are dying for a solid rotation this year to finally get into the playoffs, and if Cobb can pitch like this more often then they’ve got a pretty good chance. (H/t PL+ member Christopher Reeves)
Trevor Cahill’s Knuckle-Curve
Were you expecting to see Trevor Cahill in Nastiest Pitches at all this season? Well, he had the knucklecurve working on Monday night to the tune of a 46% CSW, and a 38% CSW overall. That’s fantastic! Cahill gutted out five innings of one run ball and struck out eight (!) Padres on the night. I wouldn’t get used to this, but Cahill can spin it on occasion and he sure had it going on Monday. (H/t PL+ member Christopher Reeves)
Devin Williams‘ Changeup
This is a pretty pedestrian changeup by his standards, but compared to 90% of the league it’s still filthy as h*ck. I promised the people that I’d throw a Devin Williams slider in here whenever I can, and this one still makes the cut. The reigning rookie of the year wasn’t on his A game tonight, but all we need is one pitch and he still delivered. Vintage Airbender.
Matt Wisler’s Slider
Let’s finish this edition of Nastiest Pitches off with Matt Wisler. I’ll be honest—I didn’t think he was any good. I remember his days in Atlanta as a top pitching prospect that never really panned out, throwing five pitches with nothing that really stood out. He’s clearly been off my radar for a while, because here he is with the Giants in 2021 with a Fastball/Slider mix that seems to have worked for him in 2020. That slider gets 50% above average horizontal break, a lot of which is hidden by this poor camera angle. I’m interested in Wisler now, and I’ll be seeking him out more often in the future. The results haven’t quite been there for him yet this year, but it’s a small sample size and he can easily turn it around. I’m rooting for him to become a lock-down arm in that Giants bullpen this year. (H/t PL+ member Brandon Griffin)
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)