Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball + The Nastiest GIFs From Sunday’s Games

Clayton Kershaw! Shohei Ohtani! Sunday's best GIFs!

Every morning we review the nastiest pitches from the previous day’s games in glorious HD 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 Half Contest. Did we miss your favorite pitch? Send us a tweet next time @PitcherList and we’ll GIF it up + give you a shoutout here in the article.

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Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball – Is there anything as pure as a 12-6 Kershaw deuce on a sunny afternoon? The Dodgers ace dropped 15 of these rainbows over his seven innings Sunday for a 26.7 whiff percentage. He also left Giants third baseman Evan Longoria wishing he’d left the bat on his shoulder for this fifth-inning gem.

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Shohei Ohtani’s Splitter  We could’ve put up eight different GIFs of Ohtani’s put-away pitch and called it a day. You might have seen the numbers by now: He put down the first 19 batters he faced. Twenty-four swings and misses, including 16 whiffs on 34 splitters. Twelve strikeouts, one walk and one hit over seven innings. But anytime someone can put an opposing hitter on his knees on consecutive pitches, that has to be recognized. Ohtani set up Oakland’s Jed Lowrie for his first-inning strikeout with a 97 mph fastball at the shins then followed up with two whiff-inducing splitters, leaving us all worshipping the 23-year-old’s talent a similar position to the A’s second baseman.

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Shane Greene’s Fastball – Greene is showcasing some incredible stuff so far in 2018, boasting an unreal slider on Thursday and now this lucious two-seamer to end Sunday’s game. Check out its incredible movement to nip the outside corner for the punchout.

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Jose Quintana’s Curveball – The Cubs lefty was fired up after taking down Milwaukee’s Jesus Aguilar to work out of this sixth-inning jam and preserve his team’s 2-0 lead. Quintana’s strikeout pitch was working for him all day, as it featured a 27.3 whiff percentage during his six frames of shutout ball.

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Jake Arrieta’s Changeup – Arrieta lasted only four innings in his Phillies debut, laboring through the first frame with 32 pitches. But he got it together as the game went on, and this changeup to strike out Miami’s Braxton Lee was pure witchcraft.

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Brad Peacock’s Slider – Peacock threw seven strikes out of eight pitches for a one-two-three ninth to slam the door on the Padres. The best of the bunch? This wipeout slider to freeze Manny Margot and end things.

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Bartolo Colon’s Fastball – Sunday had everything. A run of perfection from Ohtani. Iconic curveballs from the best lefty of a generation. And Big Sexy. Oh, Big Sexy. What else could we ask for? And really, the camera angle doesn’t do this two-seamer—which caught Toronto’s Kendrys Morales looking—any justice. Colon seems to be aiming at the DH’s hip before the seams decide otherwise and careen the ball inward to catch a chunk of the heart of the plate. Sexy.

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Trevor Richards‘ Changeup – Philadelphia’s Nick Williams knocked in a run against this offering in the first inning, but Richards didn’t come off it and got him to whiff on his changeup on three other occasions. By the looks of this dive-bombing throw, it was a good thing he stuck with it.

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Cory Gearrin’s Fastball – You can’t blame Los Angeles’ Matt Kemp for watching this one sail in. It was a thing of beauty. Sometimes, all we really need is pinpoint control and some mind-melting English on a ball to make things right and complete one heck of a set of pitching GIFs. Hats off, Mr. Gearrin.

GIF Of The Night

Which was your favorite pitch? Vote below and the winner will be featured in the GIF of the First Half Contest.

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Jason Dunbar

Jason has been a contributor at various places such as the Boston Globe and the Hardball Times and is an editor at Bleacher Report.

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