Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious high-definition GIFs. We want to bring you the highest caliber of nastiness possible, so if you see a nasty pitch, please tell us about it. You can tweet @PitcherList to let us know and we’ll give you a shout-out here in the article if your tip makes the cut.
As a bonus for PL+ members, let us know about a pitch on the PL+ Discord in the Nasty Pitches Channel, and if your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free T-shirt!
Trevor Bauer’s Knuckle-Curve
For the first time in what feels like forever, we were treated to a nice Sunday afternoon of watching baseball, and undoubtedly, the best performance was from the one and only Trevor Bauer. Following a Cy Young run in 2018, Bauer was inconsistent in 2019, but in this shortened 2020 Bauer is making his presence felt in the NL Central. He struck out a baker’s dozen and got Jonathan Schoop to chase this beauty of a knuckle-curve that drops out of the zone.
Jose Alvarado’s Sinker
If there’s one thing in baseball that I’ve missed in the past 9 months more than anything it’s gotta be watching the Rays bullpen go at it, and let me tell you, I’m thankful these guys are back. Whether it be Chaz Roe and his frisbee slider, or in this case, Jose Alvarado throwing his 98 mph sinker, it’s truly a pleasure to watch this bullpen just deal plain filth. In this case Alvarado throws a blazing heater right past Derek Fisher for a nasty strike three.
Carlos Carrasco’s Slider
If there’s one thing to be said about Carlos Carrasco, it’s that he’s a fighter, be it on or off the field. After battling leukemia for the better part of last season, Cookie made his first start yesterday since he was diagnosed, and he hasn’t missed a beat. Carrasco was just like his old self, striking out 10 over six innings en route to an Indians win. Here’s his last K, a slider that runs in on Alex Gordon for out number three, his final pitch of a quality outing.
Kirby Yates’ Splitter
Padres’ reliever Kirby Yates is coming off a career year in which he saved 41 games for San Diego, and was generally considered to be if not the best, one of the best closers in the game. Much of that thanks goes to his lethal splitter, which allowed a triple-slash of .155/.216/.181 last season, and as it turns out, not much has changed. Here he uses the pitch to set down Carson Kelly on strikes, but the outing was all downhill from there. Yates would go on to allow two runs and take the loss in a 4-3 Diamondbacks win.
Javy Guerra’s Two-Seamer
Two-way prospect Javy Guerra, who both pitches and plays shortstop (let’s see Shohei try to do that!), pitched only 9 innings last year. Today, he’s already made his second appearance in three days, so he figures to play a more prominent role in a dangerous Padres bullpen. Guerra only stands 5’11 and weighs 155 lbs according to Fangraphs (can that be right???), but his heater certainly packs a punch. Here he throws a 98 mph two-seamer right past the bat of Starling Marte for his only strikeout in a scoreless appearance (H/T to PL+ members nvita and Shwebsi).
Tommy Kahnle’s Changeup
Tommy Kahnle threw a scary inning of relief in which he worked himself into and out of a jam, thanks mainly to a nasty changeup which he threw 13 times. He registered a stellar 9/13 CSW including six swings and misses on the pitch. Here he registers a strikeout on the outer edge of the plate to Starlin Castro who swings straight through this one. (H/T to fellow staff member Asher Dratel).
Garrett Richards’ Curveball
After his 2018 was cut short, following a UCL tear, Garrett Richards missed out on the bulk of 2019, but he’s come into the 2020 season looking better than ever. He only tossed 5 innings, but he yielded just one base hit and three walks while striking out half a dozen hitters. Richards had his curve working most of the afternoon and here he gets Starling Marte (two nasty pitches in one day, yikes!) chasing for a swing-and-a-miss strikeout (H/T to PL+ member KingHippo).
Zac Gallen’s Slider
Zac Gallen got off to a rough start yesterday, allowing three walks in the first inning, but he quickly settled in. Although control was certainly an issue (5 walks in just 4 innings), Gallen was able to strike out a half dozen batters, including Manny Machado who went down swinging away at a pitch that runs out of the zone for a nasty strike three (H/T to the one and only Nick Pollack on this one).
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner may be featured in our Nastiest Pitches tournament midway through the season.