The Nastiest 32 Pitching GIFs from 2015 to 2018 — Semi-Finals

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, and then another four on Wednesday. Sensing a pattern? And no, they’re not all winners; this isn’t that kind of tournament. There are four pitches left. You get to pick two.

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 Semi-Finals.


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 results for Round 3:


American Bracket


Steven Wright’s Knuckleball 2016 defeated Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball 2015
Chaz Roe’s Slider 2016 defeated Aaron Sanchez’s Fastball 2015


National Bracket


Aroldis Chapman’s Fastball 2016 defeated Marcus Stroman’s Slider 2017
Chris Sale’s Slider 2016 defeated Noah Syndergaard’s Fastball 2015


Here are the matchups for Round 4:


American Bracket

Chaz Roe’s Slider 2016 vs. Steven Wright’s Knuckleball 2016


National Bracket


Chris Sale’s Slider 2016 vs. Aroldis Chapman’s Fastball 2016


Watch the GIFs in the Links Below!

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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