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.
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Yu Darvish‘s Slider
Yu Darvish has reached a level of dominance that no pitcher can match in 2020. Darvish had all of his pitches working last night. He finished hitters with four different pitches and made the Cardinals look like little leaguers in the process. He was also perfect through five innings. The Cy Young award is his to lose at this point.
Brusdar Graterol‘s Sinker
Brusdar Graterol is a must-watch for fans who enjoy elite velocity combined with vicious movement — so, really, everyone. Graterol throws a 90 MPH slider, but I was impressed with the movement on his sinker last night. On this pitch, Ramiel Tapia seems to be taking, but he also flinches on a pitch that ends up on the outside black. I’d flinch at 100 MPH too.
Carlos Carrasco‘s Changeup
It’s great to see Carlos Carrasco mowing down hitters after his treatment for cancer in 2019. Last night Carrasco looked like it was 2017, when he finished 4th in Cy Young award voting. Carrasco commanded his changeup with rare expertise last night, as Jace Peterson can attest. (h/t to PL+ member Alex Tran.)
Trevor Bauer‘s Slider
Trevor Bauer with Sonny Gray and Luis Castillo at the top of the rotation make the Reds a tough matchup if they can qualify for the expanded playoffs this year. The offense hasn’t been a problem, and Bauer seems closer to his 2018 form than his disappointing 2019 performance level. This slider seems to take a sharp left turn on its path to the catcher’s mitt. (h/t to PL+ member KingHippo.)
Matthew Boyd‘s Curveball
Earlier in the Twins win, Josh Donaldson got the best of Matthew Boyd and went yard for one of the two runs Boyd gave up in a tough loss. Boyd got his revenge when he spotted this slower curveball perfectly on the inside corner. Donaldson ends up out in front swinging himself off balance.
Dustin May‘s Sinker
Graterol isn’t the only Dodgers pitcher who can hit triple digits with their sinker. Dustin May gave up a leadoff home run to light-hitting Ramiel Tapia, but he was able to settle down almost immediately and trust his overpowering stuff to cut through the Rockies lineup. Trevor Story was left frozen by this well-spotted sinker.
Jeremy Jeffress‘ Splitter
Jeremy Jeffress seems to have nosed ahead in the race to lock down the Cubs closer role. Jeffress was his typical fiery self, and he was hyped after placing this splitter effectively down in the zone to freeze the frustrated Dylan Carlson.
Yusei Kikuchi‘s Four-Seam Fastball
I’m curious what changes, if any, Yusei Kikuchi made during the offseason because he’s raised his average fastball velocity almost three mph this season, from 92.5 to 95.3, according to FanGraphs. Kikuchi’s already good command combined with a velocity increase has helped Kikuchi increase his K% while decreasing his Barrel%. (The two tend to work like a pulley system — if you’re missing more bats, you’re missing more barrels.) Kikuchi held his velocity throughout his start as he threw his last pitch to Leody Taveras at 97 mph right on the outside corner. The Mariners have at least one effective pitcher left after another active trade deadline for Jerry Dipoto.
Raisel Iglesias‘ Changeup
The Reds had Luis Castillo on the mound and I could’ve chosen one of the changeups from his start, but I went with the last pitch of the game instead. Both Raisel Iglesias and Castillo combine an upper 90s fastball with a hard changeup that drops out of the zone sharply. Iglesias seems to have regained his form after a tough start to this weird baseball season and, he is still his team’s undisputed closer after the Reds trade deadline acquisition of Archie Bradley.
Dylan Bundy‘s Slider
The Angels seem to have given up on contending in 2020 so I was happy to see Dylan Bundy stick around past the trade deadline and not get moved. The Angels aren’t far away from contention, and Mike Trout deserves an opportunity to win a World Series one day. They may just be a post-hype sleeper to win their division in 2021, and if so Dyland Bundy will probably play a big role before he reaches free agency in 2021. If things don’t work out again early in 2021 the Angels will again have the opportunity to trade Bundy before the trade deadline.