We’ve seen incredible pitches over the first two months of the baseball season, and you’ve been voting every day for your favorite pitches. Now that the dust has settled, this week we will be hosting a tournament to crown the Nastiest Pitching GIF of the First Quarter. Sixteen pitches will enter, who will win?
Here are the rules:
- All GIFs were pulled from the six GIF of the Week competitions across the first six weeks of the baseball season.
- Every winner was granted an automatic bid, with the extra slots being hand selected by the staff across all Nastiest Pitches articles.
- There was one instance of a pitcher having two eligible pitches of the same type (Adam Ottavino’s slider) and we held a poll on Twitter to determine which pitch deserve entry.
- Votes will last until 12:00am EST the following morning, with the next round starting at 9:00am every morning and final round beginning on Monday morning.
- The great Michael Haas has created a gorgeous bracket of all 16 pitches above, with breaking balls and fastballs each receiving #1-#8 seeds.
Here are the matchups for Round #1:
#1 Aroldis Chapman’s Fastball vs. #8 Shane Greene’s Fastball
#2 Lance McCullers’ Fastball vs. #7 Seth Lugo’s Fastball
#3 Jose Alvarado’s Fastball vs. #6 Brandon Morrow’s Fastball
#4 Noah Syndergaard’s Fastball vs. #5 Jordan Hicks‘ Fastball
#1 Justin Verlander’s Curveball vs. #8 Luis Severino’s Slider
#2 Shane Greene’s Slider vs. #7 Miles Mikolas‘ Curveball
#3 Blake Treinen’s Slider vs. #6 Jose Berrios’ Curveball
#4 Chaz Roe’s Slider vs. #5 Adam Ottavino’s Slider
I wanted to vote for BOTH Lugo and McCullers. Wow! Pure filth, great fun.
The one criteria I have the hardest time with is the pitches that are nowhere near the strike zone. I assume lots of nasty stuff was thrown that didn’t get a feeble swing. It would be kind of cool if they had to be called strikes or at least end up with a few inches of the strike zone – most of those are truly embarrassing at bats.