Yu Darvish’s Slider and the Nastiest Pitches from 4/20
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.
Yu Darvish’s Slider
Yu Darvish has had a hairy start to the year, one that continued Saturday. However, the stuff remains intact. Please examine exhibit No. 1…wow. Now if Darvish just started to harness some control, the Cubs could get the pitcher they thought they bought.
Luis Castillo’s Changeup
So, Luis Castillo was disgusting Saturday night. Like, very, very filthy. It was difficult to pick just one pitch (wink wink, nudge nudge, I picked more than one) as they were all as sharp as a tack. Here is his change, one that Hunter Renfroe regrets swinging at.
Gerrit Cole’s Curveball
It was a tough outing for Gerrit Cole (Arlington is playing like a Little League field), but he had some of his customary dandies, including this hammer of a curve. Nomar Mazara seemed to be on the pitch, but then the bottom and the bottom’s bottom dropped out. Nasty.
Mike Fiers’ Curveball
Mike Fiers doesn’t have a whole lot left in the tank, but he’s still got this nasty trick up his sleeve. This Justin Smoak at-bat went: three four-seamers, a changeup low, and this hammer up in the zone—probably the last pitch Smoak was looking for. It’s safe to assume Fiers won’t show up much on this list, but when he does, it feels like a breath of fresh air.
Masahiro Tanaka’s Slider
Masahiro Tanaka has a lot of tools in his bag, his backfoot slider being one of the most devastating. This is perfectly placed, in such a spot that Alex Gordon is left waving at it as it slides on by.
Bonus: Luis Castillo’s Slider
This slider was rightfully called a ball (soften your frame, Tucker Barnhart!); I don’t care. If Castillo can repeatedly put his slider there, batters are in trouble. We’ve known Castillo has a disgusting repertoire. We also know that if he places his pitches where he wants, he can be downright unhittable. Luis had it going on Saturday—outside of an Eric Hosmer homer, he only allowed four baserunners while striking out nine.
Bonus Part 2: Luis Castillo’s 2-Seamer
I feel bad for Hosmer, as there wasn’t anything he could with this. This column was made for this pitch. I love Castillo.
Note: Thanks to Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja on Twitter) for the Fiers love, and to @tagates99 on Twitter for the Castillo fastball! Give them a follow!
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.