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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Adam Ottavino’s Two-Seam Fastball
Adam Ottavino’s first two pitches to J.D. Martinez were two-seam fastballs that got a little too much of the plate. J.D. Martinez may have been expecting Ottavino’s signature slider to fall off the plate on this pitch, but instead Ottavino threw his best pitch of the night right on the outside black.
Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball
Clayton Kershaw’s career seemed to be on the downswing after a couple of injury-riddled years and a significant loss of velocity, but after spending time at Driveline Baseball over the winter Kershaw’s velocity is up a bit and his breaking pitches look as sharp as ever. This curveball to Jo Adell may look off the plate, but don’t trust the broadcast box; I think it’s a strike.
Alec Mills‘ Changeup
Alec Mills seems to have learned something from “The Professor,” Kyle Hendricks, about how to throw a changeup. Both Mills and Hendricks get a lot of vertical drop on their changeups, which helps miss bats.
Brandon Woodruff’s Four-Seam Fastball
Brandon Woodruff pitched very well through four innings before an implosion and quick hook ended his day. While he was cruising Woodruff was able to spot his fastball with precision on the outside third of the plate at 99 MPH to Javy Baez.
Gerrit Cole’s Curveball
Gerrit Cole had the best start of his nascent Yankees career against the rival Red Sox. Cole was dominant with his fastball and was able to get through seven innings relatively untouched. Around his fastball, Cole mixed in his hard slider and this slower curveball that caught Xander Bogaerts unprepared.
Sonny Gray’s Slider
Sonny Gray seems to love it in Cincinnati. His college pitching coach and college teammate are on the Reds coaching staff and have helped fine-tune Gray’s arsenal. Gray was strong through almost eight innings yesterday and was able to finish off Erick Gonzalez with pitch 106, a sick slider. (h/t to PL+ member pj20)
Pablo Lopez’s Changeup
Pablo Lopez was able to use his curveball and changeup down in the zone yesterday to miss bats and keep hitters guessing on which way the ball would break. Early on, Lopez spotted this changeup to Freddie Freeman perfectly on the outside corner.
Tyler Thornburg’s Curveball
Tyler Thornburg made his Reds debut last night out of the bullpen and was effective over two innings. Thornburg may be the classic example of a failed starter who finds his calling as a reliever whose stuff plays up out of the bullpen. Thornburg has always had his nasty curveball, which has a hellacious downward break.
Dinelson Lamet’s Slider
Dinelson Lamet had experienced problems getting lefties out in the past, which limited his ceiling as a starter, but this year it doesn’t matter which side of the plate hitters are on because they can’t touch his slider either way. If Lamet can command his fastball along with his vicious slider he is capable of pitching near the top of any rotation.
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.