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!
Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball
Is there a better way to lead off a nastiest pitches article than with a Clayton Kershaw curveball? Kershaw’s been dealing his nasty curve for a decade plus now, and hitters still can’t figure it out. Here, Kershaw sends an absolute beauty under the bat of Yadiel Hernández. He would finish the day with six innings, six strikeouts, and a win on his statline.
Aroldis Chapman’s Fastball
Moving on from nasty break to blistering speed, here we look at Aroldis Chapman’s insane 101 mph fastball which gets blown by Brandon Lowe. Lowe can only stare in amazement as Chapman uses a fine brush to paint the outside edge of the plate. It was the first of three filthy strikeouts Chapman would throw in a scoreless ninth.
Brent Honeywell’s “Screwball”
Ok, so the categorization of this pitch has caused some debate. Is it a screwball? A changeup? Who knows! One thing we do know for sure is that this offering is pure filth and it should serve Brent Honeywell very nicely as he acclimates to the big leagues. Here the pitch gets the Yankees’ slugging outfielder Giancarlo Stanton looking for a called strike three. We’ll leave it up to you to examine the grip and tell us what type of pitch this really is.
Want more looks? Check out Nick Pollack’s GIF breakdown of Honeywell’s MLB debut.
Bryan Shaw’s Slider
Usually when we feature a Cleveland bullpen arm, we’re looking at Emmanuel Clase and his nasty cutter. But I would argue that while it’s not as astonishing in terms of pure force, Bryan Shaw’s slider could certainly be just as filthy. Here the pitch fools Renato Núñez as he swings out of the zone. Pure filth. (H/T to PL+ members Matt Tavernite and Zappyalex on this one).
Kenley Jansen’s Cutter
Going back to the Dodgers, Kenley Jansen pitched a scoreless ninth to seal the win for LA and save his second game of the season. Jansen was at his best yesterday and if you look at this cutter it’s easy to see why he’s one of the best in the game. Check out the insane movement, because that is a dominant pitch.
Anthony DeSclafani’s Sinker
Anthony DeSclafani was unstoppable on the mound yesterday afternoon tossing six spotless frames en route to a Giants shutout of the Rockies. DeSclafani struck out eight in total and snuck out of a jam with this filthy sinker that notched him his final out of the day, giving him both the QS and the W on the stat sheet.
Luke Weaver’s Changeup
We had another solid run at a no-hitter yesterday afternoon following Joe Musgrove’s no-no on Friday night. Luke Weaver carried a perfect game into the sixth inning and a no-hitter into the seventh before giving up a single to Eugenio Suárez. Hats off to him for a fantastic game and for a gorgeous changeup that is placed so perfectly that Mike Moustakas has no chance at making contact.
Aaron Bummer’s Slider
Moving on to the White Sox game, we’re taking a look at Aaron Bummer, who didn’t have a great day on the mound (he allowed one run while recording only a single out). However, that out was a filthy one, and here it is in all its glory. It’s a wicked backfoot slider that runs in on leadoff man Whit Merrifield for a swinging strike three.
Germán Márquez’s Knuckle-Curve
It’s always a treat to watch Germán Márquez pitch away from Coors as that’s usually when you get to see his full potential. However, yesterday was more of a “meh” type of outing for the Rockies’ ace. He allowed three runs and ended up an out shy of a QS. However, he had the strikeout pitch working, as he notched seven Ks against the Giants. Here’s his knuckle-curve dropping out on Brandon Belt for a swing-and-a-miss strike three.
Michael Kopech’s Fastball
Back to the White Sox bullpen, we’re now going to focus in on Michael Kopech. Kopech’s outing was a lot better than Bummer’s, as he went 2.1 innings without allowing a runner to reach base. Kopech struck out three along the way, including Salvador Pérez, who gets tied up on a fastball that has some wild rising movement.
Max Scherzer’s Cutter
Closing out, it’s none other than Max Scherzer to take us home. Scherzer, who is coming off a bit of a down year (at least by his standards), looked like his old self yesterday, as he struck out five over six quality innings. Yes, the strikeout numbers are lower than usual, but it’s still only April. Here’s Scherzer using his finesse to place a beautiful cutter past Gavin Lux for a swinging strike three.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)