Every morning, we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious high-definition GIFs. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite pitch and check back this weekend to see if it will be in contention for the GIF of the First Quarter Contest. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @PitcherList and we’ll GIF it up and give you a shoutout here in the article.
James Paxton’s Slider
James Paxton was masterful last night, spinning eight innings of no-run ball with only two hits allowed and 12 strikeouts, keying the New York Yankees‘ 8-0 victory and continuing the woes of the Boston Red Sox. He had all his stuff last night, topping out and 99 mph with his fastball, mixing in nasty sliders and effective changeups, but this cutter to Mitch Moreland is a particularly gross pitch. In a lefty-lefty matchup, this is about as close as it comes to an unhittable pitch in the strike zone.
Jorge Lopez’s Two-Seamer
This pitch gave me a fond flashback to Greg Maddux, the master of the front hip two-seamer. Yonder Alonso went on to double in the at-bat, but that doesn’t detract from the beauty of this offering. The front door two-seamer has a very small margin for error and is extremely tough to command — if Jorge Lopez misses the edge by even just a couple of inches, you have a 92 mph pitch tailing over the heart of the plate, which is as good as batting practice for MLB hitters. When executed well, though, it’s a great weapon.
Reyes Moronta’s Slider
I was perplexed by Juan Soto’s reaction to this Reyes Moronta slider given the pitch catches a lot of the plate. Soto argued fervently after being rung up, but it’s definitely a strike and a good one. Moronta’s hard breaker along with good command and a continued spike in fastball velocity that began last year have led to a good start in 2019. He’s striking out nearly two batters per inning in the young season with an excellent 5:1 K/BB ratio. (Thanks @CASHMATiC707 for the tip!)
Jorge Lopez’s Curveball
Maybe Lopez will take solace after a disappointing loss to the Chicago White Sox in the fact that he appears TWICE in today’s Nastiest Pitches article. This doozy of a curveball was too good to leave out, so … welcome back, Jorge. Lopez has a pretty killer five-pitch package he’s developing, and this curveball has become established as his favorite offspeed offering as well as most effective strikeout pitch. It has good velocity for a curve with this much depth, and along with two effective fastball variations, Lopez may well be able to maintain his current one strikeout per inning pace.
Tyler Glasnow’s Cutter
I’m not really sure what to say about this pitch. It’s … unfair. Tyler Glasnow is putting it together this year, and the results are scary. The Pittsburgh Pirates front office has to be loving that Austin Meadows is fresh off an AL Player of the Week award and Glasnow is now 4-0 with a 1.13 ERA, 2.06 FIP, averaging a strikeout per inning, and throwing absolutely filthy pitches like this one.
Jose Alvarado’s Sinker
Continuing with the theme of “pitches this hard aren’t supposed to be able to move like this,” here’s another one of those absurd Jose Alvarado two-seamers bound for GIF tournament glory. Is it a 98 mph screwball? Granted, Dwight Smith Jr. isn’t Mike Trout, but he is batting third in a big league lineup. You just don’t see this kind of swing on a 2-0 fastball in the MLB.
Diego Castillo’s Fastball
Rio Ruiz did what anyone should do when a pitcher paints 98 on the first pitch of an at-bat. As the strike zone graphic shows, this pitch probably caught about half an inch of the actually plate. Unlike the majority of big league clubs currently, the Rays’ late-inning bullpen combo has been about as good as it gets, and Diego Castillo and Alvarado are 1A and 1B in no particular order.
Tyler Glasnow’s Curveball
Yes, this is the fourth consecutive Rays pitch to appear here. They deserved it! Batting cleanup for today’s piece is this Glasnow curveball, causing Renato Nuñez to do a sort of lean-back dance move in the box as he watches strike three. Now that he’s commanding the zone, Glasnow has the chance to become dominant with the stuff he has.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner will be featured in the GIF of the First Quarter Contest.