The Nastiest 32 Pitching GIFs from 2015 to 2018 — Round 3

We've gathered the 32 nastiest pitching GIFs from the 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 baseball seasons. Only eight remain! VOTE NOW!

Spring training is just around the corner, but we can’t last that long without another GIF tournament. We’re only human. So we’ve put together a 32-pitch free-for-all featuring eight pitches each from 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.

In a battle of timeless GIFs versus instant classics, you decide where these knee-buckling breaking balls and NOS-powered fastballs rank. But there can only be one GIF that stands above the rest in the Nastiest 32 Pitching GIFs from 2015 to 2018 Tournament (sort of like the movie Highlander). Thirty-two pitches entered the tournament, you all sent 16 home packing, then eight more. All that remains now is Immaculate Eight, half of which will turn into the Fantastic Four. (Not the movies. Those are brutal.)

Here are the rules:

  • All GIFs were pulled from the winners and top finishers in GIF tournaments from 2015 through 2018.
  • You can only vote on a matchup once, so make sure you pick the one you absolutely want. No take-backsies (very strict policy).
  • Voting will continue until 12:00 a.m. EST the following morning. This is the third round.

 

Graphic by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Here are the results for Round 1:

 

American Bracket

 

Chris Sale‘s Slider 2018 defeated Drew Storen‘s Slider 2016
Steven Wright‘s Knuckleball 2016 defeated Jose Berrios‘ Curveball 2018
Lance McCullers‘ Fastball 2017 defeated Blake Treinen‘s Slider 2018
Clayton Kershaw‘s Curveball 2015 defeated Jose Berrios‘ Curveball 2017
Chaz Roe‘s Slider 2016 defeated R.A. Dickey’s Knuckleball 2015
Justin Verlander‘s Curveball 2017 defeated Core Kluber’s Slider 2017
Aaron Sanchez‘s Fastball 2015 defeated Aaron Nola‘s Fastball 2017
Dylan Maples’ Slider 2018 defeated Rich Hill‘s Curveball 2015

 

National Bracket

 

Marcus Stroman‘s Slider 2017 defeated Lance McCullers‘ Fastball 2018
Steven Wright Knuckleball 2015 defeated Blake Treinen‘s Fastball 2018
Aroldis Chapman‘s Fastball 2016 defeated Noah Syndergaard‘s Fastball 2016
Clayton Kershaw‘s Curveball 2016 defeated Aaron Sanchez‘s Fastball 2.0 2016
Chris Sale‘s Slider 2016 defeated Aroldis Chapman‘s Slider 2017
Noah Syndergaard‘s Fastball 2015 defeated Aroldis Chapman‘s Fastball 2018
Adam Ottavino‘s Slider 2018 defeated Gerrit Cole‘s Fastball 2015
Aaron Sanchez‘s Fastball 2016 defeated Blake Treinen‘s Fastball 2017

 

Here are the results for Round 2:

 

American Bracket

 

Clayton Kershaw‘s Curveball 2015 defeated Chris Sale‘s Slider 2018
Steven Wright‘s Knuckleball 2016 defeated Lance McCullers‘ Fastball 2017
Chaz Roe‘s Slider 2016 defeated Dylan Maples’ Slider 2018
  Aaron Sanchez‘s Fastball 2015 defeated Justin Verlander‘s Curveball 2017

 

National Bracket

 

Marcus Stroman‘s Slider 2017 defeated Clayton Kershaw‘s Curveball 2016
Aroldis Chapman‘s Fastball 2016 defeated Steven Wright Knuckleball 2015
Chris Sale‘s Slider 2016 defeated Aaron Sanchez‘s Fastball 2016
Noah Syndergaard‘s Fastball 2015 defeated Adam Ottavino‘s Slider 2018

 

Here are the matchups for Round 3:

 

American Bracket

 

Steven Wright‘s Knuckleball 2016 vs. Clayton Kershaw‘s Curveball 2015
Chaz Roe‘s Slider 2016 vs. Aaron Sanchez‘s Fastball 2015

 

National Bracket

 

Marcus Stroman‘s Slider 2017 vs. Aroldis Chapman‘s Fastball 2016
Chris Sale‘s Slider 2016 vs. Noah Syndergaard‘s Fastball 2015

 

Watch the GIFs in the Links Below!


Looks like we’ve got a couple of bullies on our hands. Or at least fake tough guys. Weirdly enough, neither of them use heat to intimidate opposing hitters. It’s almost as if Steven Wright and Clayton Kershaw are worried what would happen if they brought the heat. In all seriousness, Wright’s knuckle and Kershaw’s curve got to this point in the tournament for a reason.

 

Steven Wright‘s Knuckleball 2016 vs. Clayton Kershaw‘s Curve 2015

 

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!



Chaz Roe‘s slider had the most definitive win of the Second Round. Not that it should surprise anyone. You have to be at least a fourth-year at Hogwarts to learn the spell for this pitch. But things won’t be that easy against an Aaron Sanchez heater that has some serious run and power. Or maybe it will be that easy for Roe. It’s really up to you.

 

Chaz Roe‘s Slider 2016 vs. Aaron Sanchez‘s Fastball 2015

 

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!



This has to be the toughest matchup of the Third Round. Aroldis Chapman‘s gas has made him quite a bit of money and helped the Chicago Cubs break that silly little “curse” everyone was losing their minds over. But this slider from Marcus Stroman is the money pitch. How else do you explain Carlos Correa, a supposedly good hitter, swinging at a pitch so far outside the zone?

 

Marcus Stroman‘s Slider 2017 vs. Aroldis Chapman‘s Fastball 2016

 

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!



Noah Syndergaard‘s fastball has pulled off two surprising upsets. Not to tell you how to vote, but Thor’s streak has to end here. Swinging at a pitch that drills you — I don’t care that it started where it did — is embarrassing. Not that this is the “most miserable swing and miss” tournament — which wouldn’t be a terrible idea — but Trumbo didn’t look miserable against just any old slider. It’s a Chris Sale slider, one of the toughest pitches to hit in all of baseball.

 

Chris Sale‘s Slider 2016 vs. Noah Syndergaard‘s Fastball 2015

 

 

VS.

 

 

Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!

Nick Friar

Nick pitched at Northwestern University from 2011-14. He firmly believes the answer to every count and situation is a changeup — probably because he only topped out at 91. Nick runs the GIF Tournaments at Pitcher List. If you see a pitch that deserves recognition, let him know on Twitter @Nick_Friar. Maybe give him a follow, too? Or not. Actually, "not" might be the right answer here.

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