Back in December, we crowned Tanner Houck as the champion of the 2020 Nastiest Pitches Tournament. Now, with Spring Training underway, it’s time to take a look at the Nastiest Pitch Arsenals in the league. This tournament features eight SPs with the best stuff in the league, squaring off with each other in order to crown the nastiest of them all.
Now, there are a few rules we must follow:
- Please vote for whichever pitching arsenal you feel is the nastiest in each matchup. The best thing about Nastiest Pitches is that beauty is in the eye of the beholder – we all have different definitions of what we think a nasty pitch looks like, so there will likely be some surprises in the results.
- 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. EST the following morning.
Without further ado, here’s how the 2020 bracket shapes up:
I’m not totally shocked by this matchup. I would have liked to see Corbin Burnes pull off the upset, but Yu Darvish won in a landslide victory (and rightfully so). Meanwhile, the voting between Clayton Kershaw and Max Scherzer was close for most of the day before Scherzer pulled away with it in the evening.
When it comes to the nastiness factor, Scherzer’s curveball is my favorite of this entire bunch. It’s got such a sharp break and, despite clocking in at only 77.2 MPH, looks like a classic power curve that comes in at breakneck speed.
But Scherzer only gets outs with five pitches. The fact that Darvish more than doubles that number is astounding. What is a batter to do with so many different possibilities? All credit in the world once again goes to our own Alex Fast for putting together Darvish’s overlay. It’s a work of art on par with Darvish’s arsenal itself.
I was personally rooting for Kenta Maeda to move on in his matchup against Shane Bieber last round, but who can complain with the Biebs? The matchup was literally tied for most of the day before Bieber pulled away late, and he’s very deserving of the 1st round victory. It’s amazing that he can throw five ridiculously filthy pitches wherever he wants with pinpoint control and, while nastiness doesn’t always result in success, it’s a big reason why he was the Cy Young award winner last season.
Speaking of pinpoint control, Jacob deGrom blew out his New York counterpart, Gerrit Cole, thanks to what I can only imagine was a horde of Mets fans looking for their first big win in ages. It shouldn’t be a shock that a two-time Cy Young award winner moves on, but Cole was a formidable opponent. I expect this round to be a much tougher test for deGrom, but he’s still filthy and has a very good shot at moving on to the championship.
Photo by Tony Quinn/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)