Every week, we review the nastiest pitches from the previous week in glorious HD GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back on Saturday to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the Second Quarter Contest. Week 10’s winner was Yu Darvish’s Slider. A pitch that starts out middle-middle and then breaks sideways sharply to end up almost behind the hitter, Daniel Murphy. Sick.
Week 11’s nastiest pitches are led by two Chaz Roe sliders that will in all likelihood be up for pitch of the season. The Rays bullpen may have 3 different pitchers up for pitch of the season with Chaz Roe joined by Jose Alvarado and Diego Castillo to make a GIFable bullpen for the ages. The rest of Week 11’s nastiest pitches include offerings from Stephen Strasburg, Chris Sale, and Gerrit Cole.
Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @PitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.
Chaz Roe’s Slider #1
Chaz Roe is a mainstay in Nastiest Pitches because of his slider, but this one might be favorite ever GIF from Roe. This pitch seems to extend like Inspector Gagdet as it breaks away from Wilfredo Tovar’s futile attempt to foul off the ball.
Chaz Roe’s Slider #2
Is it really a nasty pitch roundup if there isn’t a ridiculous offering from a Rays reliever? Chaz Roe’s absurdly mobile slider to punch out Khris Davis was immediately gawked at all over baseball Twitter Wednesday night, and for good reason. While he may have gone on to allow two earned runs after this strikeout, that’s easily ignored when a player gives us one of the nastiest offerings of the entire year, let alone the night.
Kyle Crick’s Slider
Boy, oh boy, Kyle Crick’s slider is truly something to behold. Perhaps the nastiest pitch in baseball these days, Crick’s slider moves like no other, bending and breaking into the zone to catch Matt Joyce looking as the Pirates reliever finished up a scoreless inning.
Chris Sale’s Slider
Chris Sale notched his 7th 10+ K game in his last 8 on Monday against the Rangers, punching out exactly 10 while allowing just 3 hits. Since the calendars flipped to May, Sale owns a 1.99 ERA and an absolutely absurd 14.58 K/9, entirely erasing any worries that surrounded him after a rough March and April.
Stephen Strasburg’s Curveball
The former first overall pick rebounded nicely after a rough outing against the White Sox, holding the Padres to one run while striking out six over seven innings of work. Even with last outing’s bomb, Stephen Strasburg still owns a 3.36 ERA and 10.8 K/9 on the season and should continue to be just as dominant so long as his health holds up.
Framber Valdez’s Sinker
Well, that’s just not fair. New to the Astros rotation, Framber Valdez showed off his sinker’s phenomenal movement against Trey Mancini (Valdez threw a nearly identical offering one pitch after this one). Valdez may have elevated himself from “back-end fill-in” to “rotation piece” with his 7IP 7K 1ER gem.
Gerrit Cole’s Slider
Gerrit Cole put on a clinic against the lowly Orioles on Friday, striking out 14 of them over 7 innings of work, allowing just 1 ER. Since coming over from Pittsburgh, Cole has emerged as one of the premier strikeout artists in the MLB, leading the AL in K/9 last season and leading it again this year, with a 13.8 mark through 14 starts.
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below and the winner may be featured in the GIF of the Second Quarter Contest.
Graphic by Michael Haas (@digitalHaas on Twitter)