Zack Britton’s Slider and the Nastiest Pitches from 9/18
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 September Nastiest Pitches GIF Tournament. 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.
Zack Britton’s Slider
Even though his days as arguably the best closer in baseball have come to a close for now (no pun intended), Zack Britton has still been incredible this season for the Yankees, pitching to a 1.97 ERA across 64 appearances. After a good but not amazing season last year, many started to doubt the strikeout artist formerly known as Zach. He’s been a huge reason for the massive success the Yankees have achieved, and if he leaves the Bronx once his contract is up, he’ll no doubt have plenty of suitors on the open market.
Jon Lester’s Cutter
Despite his best (and quite frankly impressive) efforts, it appears as though age may finally be catching up with Jon Lester. While the 4.51 ERA the 35-year-old is sporting in his 14th MLB season isn’t horrendous by any means, it’s a far cry from the 3.32 mark he put up last season. No man in the NL has allowed more hits than J-Lest this season, and that naturally leads to rough results. Lester still has gas in the tank, but his car is more like a Volvo 244DL than the Mustang he used to rock.
Homer Bailey’s Splitter
After being cut by the Dodgers in spring, Homer Bailey has quietly put together an adequate season split between the Royals and Athletics. His 151.1 innings so far represent his best such mark since 2013, and his 4.55 ERA is the best he’s had since 2014. It’s not much, but seeing Bailey manage to pitch this much and maintain a starting job after years of fighting injuries is awesome. He’s at least pitched decently enough to nab himself a spot in a major league rotation next season most likely.
Gerrit Cole’s Cutter
Gerrit Cole‘s finally done it; he’s cracked the 300-strikeout club. Ending Wednesday night with 302 strikeouts on the year, Cole’s Cy Young case continues to get better, which is important when your competition is as good as it is. He hasn’t just been empty strikeouts either, with Cole allowing just two earned runs on Wednesday and posting a 2.61 ERA on the year. Cole has truly had one of the most impressive seasons we’ve seen from a pitcher in a while, and watching it has simultaneously been a blast while also making me incredibly depressed as a Mariners fan.
Max Scherzer’s Changeup
Speaking of Cy Young candidates, enter Max Scherzer. Wednesday wasn’t an ideal outing for the superstar pitcher (five earned runs allowed), but he struck out 11 to go with it and has a 2.81 ERA on the season. Combine that with an NL-best K/9 of 12.61 and his incredible eighth consecutive season with 200 strikeouts, and he provides stiff competition to reigning Cy Young winner Jacob deGrom this season.
Mike Leake’s Slider
Oh yeah, Mike Leake exists. After being traded to the Diamondbacks, Leake’s signature brand of reliable yet underwhelming inning eating turned to straight mediocrity, as his 4.67 ERA as a Diamondback can attest. He’s still under contract with Arizona for another year, so D-Backs fans should get used to seeing those long, flowing locks up on the mound.
GIF of the Night
Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below, and the winner will be featured in the September Nastiest Pitches GIF Tournament.