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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Framber Valdez’s Curveball
The Framber Valdez game will be remembered forever by both Red Sox and Astros fans, albeit in different ways. He excelled at forcing Red Sox hitters into making weak contact all night long and it seemed like Boston just had no answer for him. Sitting in the outfield bleachers, I was shocked to look up at the board and see Framber with only 65 pitches in the 6th inning. He was absolutely cruising at that point and Boston had no answer. The curveball, his out pitch, registered a 33% CSW on the night and this one to Christian Vázquez was simply gorgeous.
Chris Sale’s Slider
It felt like the Red Sox left Chris Sale in the game for one inning too long. After escaping this jam in the 4th inning and then dropping the Astros in order in the 5th inning on only eight pitches, it felt like Sale had done enough and we’d see another guy come in for the 6th. Nope. Sale would go on to allow two more runs and Ryan Brasier came on and gave up a few more, leaving Sale with four earned runs on his line. It was an unfortunate end to a solid outing otherwise, and his slider was working to the tune of an excellent 36% CSW on the night. If this is the last we see of Chris Sale in 2021, I’m confident in his chances for a bounce-back year in 2022.
Framber Valdez’s Sinker
We couldn’t finish this article without one more pitch from Framber. He wasn’t all that nasty on the night, but his pitches were moving and fooling Red Sox hitters right until the end. This perfectly placed sinker completely fooled Christian Arroyo.
Julio Urías’ Curveball
It was not the best night for Julio Urías, but his curveball did have some bite to it. A 35% CSW is a solid number, no doubt, but location often bit him and Atlanta made sure to punish him anytime he made a mistake.
A.J. Minter’s Cutter
A.J. Minter is having himself one heck of a postseason. With seven strikeouts and a .75 WHIP over 5.1 innings pitched, he’s been a force out of the Atlanta bullpen. This nasty cutter dove down and in on Will Smith and Smith had no chance at making contact with it.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)