The first half of 2019 was a big one for pitchers. Mike Fiers threw another no-hitter, and other pitchers are starting to come to full form. Most importantly, some absurd GIFs emerged in the first half. So ridiculous that the list of honorable mentions from this half probably would have made most other tournaments in the past. Now it’s time to crown the best pitching GIF of them all from the first three and a half months of the season.
The best 16 have been pulled aside and ranked. The field was whittled down to eight following Tuesday’s round. On Wednesday, we brought that total down to four. Yesterday, we set the stage for our final match. Now it’s on you, the voter, to decide which stands above the rest.
Here are the rules:
- All GIFs were pulled from the first half of 2019 (All-Star Game does not count!).
- You can only vote on a matchup once, so make sure you pick the one you absolutely want.
- Voting will continue until 12:00 a.m. EDT the following morning. This is the final round.
Here are the results from Round 1:
1. Chaz Roe’s Slider defeated 8. Jordan Hicks’ Slider
7. Jose Alvarado’s Two-Seamer defeated 2. Jordan Hicks’ Fastball
3. Adam Ottavino’s Two-Seamer defeated 6. Aaron Nola’s Two-Seamer
4. Kyle Hendricks’ Changeup defeated 5. Kyle Crick’s Slider
1. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer defeated 8. Yonny Chirinos’ Two-Seamer
2. Yu Darvish’s Slider defeated 7. Luis Castillo’s Changeup
6. Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball defeated 3. Chris Sale’s Slider
5. Justin Verlander’s Fastball defeated 4. Framber Valdez’s Sinker
Here are the quarterfinal results:
1. Chaz Roe’s Slider defeated 4. Kyle Hendricks’ Changeup
7. Jose Alvarado’s Two-Seamer defeated 3. Adam Ottavino’s Two-Seamer
1. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer defeated 5. Justin Verlander’s Fastball
2. Yu Darvish’s Slider defeated 6. Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball
Here are the semifinal results:
1. Chaz Roe’s Slider defeated 7. Jose Alvarado’s Two-Seamer
1. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer defeated 2. Yu Darvish’s Slider
And here is the championship matchup:
1. Chaz Roe’s Slider vs. 1. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer
Watch the GIFs in the Links Below!
Graphic by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)
Chaz Roe’s Slider vs. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer
And then there were two! We’ve got our final matchup today, and boy, is it a good one. Both of these pitches are uniquely nasty, but only one can come out on top. Let’s start with the semifinal winner from our American Bracket: Chaz Roe’s slider. This pitch is absolutely fantastic. It starts out like any other before it zips a foot off the plate to fool Khris Davis. Now, onto Luis Castillo and his filthy two-seamer. Watch as the pitch travels straight toward Eric Hosmer, before somehow coming back into the zone to freeze the Padres first baseman.
Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch is the best of the first half!