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!
Shane McClanahan‘s Sinker
Shane McClanahan made it onto the Rays’ roster in the playoffs last season, but this was really the first time we got an extended look at him. And boy did he impress. A 24/59 CSW is ridiculously good, and this pitch got some insane arm-side movement at 101 (!!) MPH. He also throws a disgusting breaking ball that had our own Alex Fast absolutely giddy on Twitter. This guy needs to be on your radar. (h/t to PL+ member Burial)
Casey Mize‘s Knuckle Curveball
Casey Mize got the ball in game 1 of the doubleheader on Thursday and produced six strong innings with 6 strikeouts and a CSW of 29%. Showing flashes of why he was the number one pick in the draft we see this gorgeous knuckle curve to Yoan Moncada causing him to swing through and allowing Mize to work ahead of the count, which he did throughout the game. (h/t to PL+ member nvita).
Matthew Boyd‘s Changeup
Matthew Boyd may have had his outing on Thursday cut short due to injury, but that did not stop him from dropping this beauty of a changeup on Yoan Moncada, causing him to go down swinging and be victim to multiple nastiest pitches in one day.
Jorge Lopez‘s Changeup
Jorge Lopez had a decent day on the mound, allowing two runs over four innings of work while earning a 32% CSW overall. This changeup gets a ton of movement and hits the spot perfectly, eliciting a desperate swing out of Rougned Odor. It’s truly a thing of beauty.
Yusei Kikuchi‘s Slider
What a great outing by Yusei Kikuchi on Thursday, producing a 36% CSW in his seven shutout innings in the win over the Astros. In those seven innings, he allowed only one hit and struck out seven Astros, including Myles Straw on this gorgeous sinker dropping right out of the zone. (H/t to PL+ member AnOldWoodenShippy)
Cesar Valdéz’s Changeup
This gorgeous changeup by César Valdez was called a ball by the home plate umpire, which should be punishable by law. No harm, no foul, though, as Valdez would go on to strike out Brett Gardner anyway. That doesn’t make up for this atrocity of a call, but not everyone is always perfect. Valdez is a Nastiest Pitches star blossoming in front of our very eyes. (H/T to PL+ member pj20).
Hirokazu Sawamura‘s Splitter
Hirokazu Sawamura has been a wonderful addition to the Red Sox bullpen, and his splitter has been featured around these parts a couple of times already. This one to strike out Eli White was a disgusting display of dark magic where the ball flat out disappeared from under White’s bat. Awesome stuff. (H/T to PL+ member Pete Dixon).
Adbert Alzolay‘s Sinker
Adbert Alzolay makes Ozzie Albies look like he’s swinging with a pool noodle here, and I love it. From a CSW perspective, the sinker was his worst pitch of the day (26% CSW) but this one was disgusting. The arm-side movement is fantastic and he located the pitch perfectly. (h/t to PL+ member nvita).
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)