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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Kyle Wright‘s Curveball
This is simply some ridiculous stuff. In his start yesterday, Wright mowed down the Nationals lineup with his curveball, throwing it 43% of the time and more than twice as much as any other pitch. It worked, earning 10 whiffs and a 56% CSW. In total, he threw seven innings and got the win on just 84 pitches and a 42% CSW overall.
Triston McKenzie‘s Slider
This pitch was basically an 87 mph bullet, with very little induced vertical or horizontal break. It catches hitters off guard when they’re expecting a heater at 95 with carry or his hard curveball with crazy amounts of drop, and it works here, getting a whiff right at the bottom of the zone. McKenzie didn’t allow a run in his six innings of ball yesterday.
David Bednar‘s Splitter
Bednar has quietly been one of the best closers in the league over the past couple seasons, posting an ERA of 2.25 this season. He’s also on a small list of pitchers who throw a splitter as a major weapon to get whiffs. He ranks near the top of the league leaderboard in splitter CSW, sandwiched between Shohei Ohtani and Tony Gonsolin. I’d say that’s a good list of company to have.
Kyle Gibson‘s Slider
Gibson tossed seven shutout innings yesterday, and the Phillies needed all of it as they edged out a 1-0 win in St. Louis. This was a nasty slider that showed off the two-planed break of the pitch – sweeping off the inside edge of the plate and diving down beneath the hitter’s bat. Gibson threw six pitches with regularity yesterday, and the slider’s 33% CSW ranked third among them, behind his cutter and sinker.
Carlos Rodón‘s Slider
Rodón may have had the most dominant pitching performance of the year yesterday. He allowed one run in a complete game, but picked up a dozen strikeouts, 27!!! whiffs, and a 40% CSW. His fastball led the way, as it was thrown over two-thirds of the time, but his slider was his best secondary weapon especially against left-handed hitters, and it earned five critical swinging strikes.
Jackson Kowar‘s Changeup
While most pitchers try to lower the spin rate on their changeups, Kowar’s outlier profile embraces it. By getting near perfect sidespin on his changeup, Kowar uses his high spin rates (2400+ rpm, far above the ~1700 league average) in the mold of Devin Williams‘ “airbender” to maximize movement. This pitch that just caught the outside corner had 16 inches of horizontal movement (about one home plate’s worth), meaning the ball saw all of the zone as it floated in for the strike.
Edwin Díaz‘ Slider
Díaz is still absolutely unstoppable. He has a sub-2 ERA (and his peripherals actually consider him to be unlucky), and he is the king of strikeouts. He leads the league by a huge margin in both K/9 (17.8) and strikeout percentage (50.0). Literally every other batter that steps into the box against him takes the slow trot back to the dugout. Recently, Diaz has pumped up the use of his slider, now throwing it over half the time to massive success. After this scoreless inning, the Mets would walk it off in extras.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)