Between a record breaking Home Run Derby, a wild trade deadline, and an all out Reds-Pirates brawl, this July has been jam-packed with great action, great moments, and, of course, nasty pitches. But before we kick off the first-half tournament, there are a few pitches that didn’t quite make the cut. In any other situation, these might’ve made the final cut. Who knows what could’ve happened from there?
Which pitch do you think deserved a spot among the final 16? Vote in the poll at the bottom of this article to let your voice be heard!
Charlie Morton’s Curveball
We’ll be seeing some more of Charlie Morton’s curveball tomorrow morning (hint, hint), but for now, we’ll give you a tease of this beautiful offering, a back-door curve that freezes Stevie Wilkerson at the plate. Morton has been fantastic this year, ranking in the top 10 in MLB in ERA and fWAR.
Adam Ottavino’s Two-Seamer
The Yankees had their fair share of pitching problems in July and probably exacerbated that issue by not making moves at the deadline. One guy who has remained dominant as the Yankees dealt with pitching issues is Adam Ottavino. Sure, he has an xFIP and SIERA above 4, but his ERA has remained at a pristine 1.50, which has helped the Yankees stay at the top of the competitive AL East.
Kyle Gibson’s Two-Seamer
Moving on to Kyle Gibson and this beauty of a two-seamer. Gibson is having a solid year as we reach the home stretch. He’s posting a career high in strikeout rate and a career low in walk rate. The Twins will need Gibson to keep up this production if they want to hold off the Indians and win their first AL Central title since 2010.
Jose Berrios’ Curveball
Staying on the Twins, let’s talk about their ace, Jose Berrios. Much like his teammate, Berrios is having a year to remember. Through 141.2 innings he’s already topped his previous career highs in WAR and RA/9 WAR. Berrios’ curveball is his secondary weapon and a solid knockout offering, as the pitch has a 25% strikeout rate. Interestingly enough, out of all the pitches in his arsenal, only his fastball has a higher strikeout rate.
Jacob deGrom’s Changeup
Alright, I’m a Mets fan. I’m cautiously optimistic right now. More cautious than optimistic. But the Mets just keep winning right now. As of this morning, they are just 3(!) games out of the NL Wild Card and just one game under .500. This is all thanks to a fearsome rotation led by Jacob deGrom, who can be seen here fooling Garrett Cooper with a filthy changeup.
Jose Berrios’ Changeup
We’re back to Berrios, and this time we’re featuring his changeup. This pitch is just wonderful to watch. It starts out looking like a fastball delivered inside, but about halfway to home plate, it decides to dart in the opposite direction to get Jake Bauers for a swing-and-miss strike three.
Edwin Diaz’s Fastball
OK, so Edwin Diaz’s time as a Met has had some low lows, but those are accompanied by the occasional high. And this right here is the peak of the mountain. This pitch is a one-of-a-kind masterpiece. It comes in at 99 mph, gets fouled off, then it gets bobbled by Wilson Ramos, and finally caught. Man, that sequence may never happen again.
Trevor Bauer’s Two-Seamer
Finally, we’ve got Trevor Bauer this morning. Bauer has been baseball’s most polarizing figure, and his antics have drawn the ire of his coaches and managers over the years. Since this filthy two-seam fastball was thrown, Bauer was traded to Cincinnati in a three-team blockbuster deal, and I’m sure he’ll continue to flourish there.
Which one of these pitches most deserved to be included in the tournament?