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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Blake Treinen’s Slider
Though he hasn’t won Nastiest Pitch of the Month yet (those titles go to Shane McClanahan and Kevin Gausman so far), Blake Treinen has been the nastiest pitcher in baseball so far in my opinion. His slider is on an entirely different planet right now and we’re all lucky to simply be in its presence. I’m sure that’s exactly what Willie Calhoun was thinking here, too.
Aaron Nola’s Knuckle Curve
Aaron Nola’s knuckle curve has a 40.2% CSW so far in 2021, which is about on par with previous years. He tore through the Yankees’ lineup on Sunday thanks in large part to his curve and his fastball, both of which he threw over 30 times with a CSW at 35% or above. This one to Brett Gardner was identical to the pitch thrown immediately before, and Gardner was fooled both times. When Nola is on, he’s unbeatable.
Josh Hader’s Slider
Speaking of guys who are unbeatable, I would not want to be a hitter who has to face Josh Hader. As intimidating as he looks on the mound, knowing that he’s got three legitimate pitches that can generate outs would have me confused and scared. Luckily I get to just watch him pitch from the comfort of my own office, but Erik González did not have that same luxury.
Logan Gilbert’s Changeup
Logan Gilbert, Seattle’s young future ace, pitched what is probably his best game as a major leaguer so far, pitching 6.2 quality innings while striking out six and allowing only one run. He went 4/9 CSW on the changeup and had a 37% CSW with the fastball as well, so he had Cleveland guessing all day long.
Shane Greene’s Slider
Shane Greene spent the offseason unsigned and the phone lines remained quiet pretty much until early May when he resigned with the Braves. He had spent the entire season in the minor leagues until he was recalled on June 8th, and he’s since then pitched a couple of innings with the big league club. His slider only has a 21.4% CSW so far in three outings, which is abysmal by his standards, but look for that number to rise as he pitches more often and shakes off some rust. As you can see in the pitch above to Jorge Alfaro, he’s still got it.
Chris Bassitt’s Curveball
If you haven’t read last week’s article by our own Cole Bailey about Chris Bassitt, I implore you to do so immediately. Bassitt improved his slider this season as a way to give batters a different look, and with a 33.7% CSW so far it’s working. That should help his other offerings improve as well, including his curveball which continues to miss bats and look gorgeous. Kelvin Gutierrez stood no chance on this one.
Joe Ross‘ Slider
Joe Ross was an absolute beast on Sunday, pitching eight strong innings and striking out nine. A lot of that was thanks to a 42% CSW on his sinker, but the slider was used as an occasional weapon as well. Steven Duggar probably should have taken this pitch, but when Ross has you confused all day it’s hard to lay off this filth.
Carlos Rodón’s Slider
Carlos Rodón flirted with another no-hitter on Sunday, taking one into the seventh inning against a Tigers team that couldn’t touch him all day. Harold Castro looked completely overmatched by this pitch.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)