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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Jorge López’s Curveball
One of the many reasons you have to love baseball are great relievers coming out of nowhere every year. How about Jorge López? Before this year, he owned a 6.04 ERA and 1.55 WHIP through 350 career innings. And then this year, he naturally transforms into one of baseball’s top relievers with a 2.64 ERA and career-best 24.3% K rate. The veteran reliever kept the game tied at three with a clean seventh inning, which included this impressive hook to Romy Gonzàlez, who struck out on the very next pitch.
Enyel De Los Santos‘ Slider
Speaking of surprise relievers, De Los Santos has been a weapon out of the Guardians’ pen. With his team facing a one-run deficit, the former Philly tossed a clean seventh and ended his outing on this perfect slider straight to the mitt that retired the dangerous Randy Arozarena.
Carlos Rodón’s Slider
After a clunker against the Diamondbacks his last time out, Rodón redeemed himself last night with a brilliant performance last night as he held the Rockies scoreless through six innings while allowing just two hits with no walks. His second of ten strikeouts came on this beautiful slider against Brendan Rodgers in the first inning.
Jeffrey Springs‘ Changeup
The lefty has been one of this year’s surprises with a tiny 2.45 ERA and 1.07 WHIP through 32 starts. And his changeup has been the key to his success as it’s held enemy batters to just a .259 wOBA with a 38% whiff rate. This perfectly located slowball drew a weak swing from one of baseball’s best, José Ramírez, in his second at-bat of the night. The Guardians eeked out a 2-1 win last night against the Rays, but it certainly wasn’t the fault of Springs, who tossed six shutout innings with five strikeouts.
Matt Moore’s Curveball
Last night in Seattle, the Mariners won an absolutely wild game in extra innings. And now they’re just one single win away from ending the longest postseason drought in baseball. It’s been 21 years! Once upon a time, one of baseball’s top pitching prospects, Matt Moore, found himself in the middle of the chaos as he dispatched Jarred Kelenic, who had already hit two dingers, with this hook to end the seventh while keeping the game tied, 7-7.
Shohei Ohtani’s Splitter
Can you believe it? The A’s were no match for baseball’s virtuoso as he carried a no-hitter into the eighth. This splitter made the team leader in home runs, Seth Brown, look helpless in his second at-bat.
Shohei Ohtani’s Slider
Why not? Let’s keep watching Ohtani break baseball. He only threw the splitter five times as it took a backseat to the slider. That’s been a theme this year as he’s really leaned into the slider, going from 22% in 2021 to his top pitch this season at 38.2%. Hard to argue with the results as it has returned a nearly identical 38% whiff rate while fueling his first-ever 200 strikeout campaign. May there be many more.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)