Lucas Giolito’s Changeup and the Nastiest Pitches of 8/20

Ten of the best pitches of the night but there were so, so many more

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.

As a bonus for PL+ members, let us know about a pitch on the PL+ Discord in the Nasty Pitches Channel, and if your suggestion is included the next day, you’ll be entered into a weekly drawing for a free T-shirt!


Lucas Giolito’s Changeup


Lucas Giolito was on absolute fire Thursday, striking out 13 Tigers over seven innings and earning the win. It was a day game and he was the early winner of the day’s GIF Sandwich… until Clayton Kershaw came along. More on him in a moment. For now, enjoy this filthy changeup as it gracefully drops into the zone for a called strike.


Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball


Clayton Kershaw and Lucas Giolito are the first Co-GIF Sandwich winners since I’ve started handing out the award. I knew the day would eventually come that two guys would be so filthy that they both needed to share the award, and today is it. Kershaw struck out 11 and had an absurd 48% CSW on his curveball alone. I honestly struggled with which curve to pick for the article because so many were worthy, so take a moment and go check the rest of them out. Then get back here and watch the rest of these because we’ve got some great pitches for you to enjoy.


Sonny Gray’s Two-Seam Fastball


It’s the first batter of the game and Sonny Gray is already firing these two-seamers right at opposing hitters, for them to only dart back into the zone for a called strike three. Gray had three truly nasty two-seamers on the night and it was tough to choose which was best – I went with the one accompanied by a slow-mo. Sonny struggled a bit in the second inning but it was another otherwise solid night for the Reds’ Co-Ace.


Dinelson Lamet’s Fastball


Dinelson Lamet had 9 Ks on the night, including this 99 MPH laser into the bottom of the zone that completely fooled Jose Trevino. Lamet and the Slam-Diego Padres are an incredibly fun team to watch, and it always helps when the legendary Don Orsillo is bringing his A-Game in the booth.


James Karinchak’s Curveball


This GIF looks like it’s been sped up for some reason. I can’t explain it, but everything you see actually happened in real-time. James Karinchak has one of the nastiest curveballs in the majors and he should hopefully be anointed the closer role sooner rather than later. This curve to Jose Osuna has the patented Karinchak drop and the break that is really unique to him, and it’s a pitch that we’ll be seeing for a long time to come. (H/T PL+ member Christopher Reeves)


Nathan Eovaldi’s Splitter


Nathan Eovaldi pitched seven strong innings Thursday night, allowing only one run while striking out six. The Red Sox need him to be their ace this year and he certainly looked the part against the contending Orioles. While the curveball and it’s 50% CSW was the key for Eovaldi on the night, the splitter ain’t too shabby either.


Yusei Kikuchi’s Slider


Yusei Kikuchi got absolutely hosed on this pitch, as it was called a foul tip when replays clearly show that it was nothing more than a nasty whiff. It should have been strike three, but instead, it was the precursor to Matt Beaty’s ground-rule double on the next pitch, which started off a three-run inning for the Dodgers. Kikuchi didn’t have his best stuff on Thursday night but this pitch was still certified filth.


Spencer Turnbull’s Changeup


Spencer Turnbull really struggled Thursday, allowing three runs in two innings and striking out a goose egg. This was really his only good pitch of the day, and he didn’t record a strikeout. Luckily for him, the results don’t really matter when it comes to making it on Nastiest Pitches so he can still hang his head high and go into his next outing with confidence.


Shane Bieber’s Slider


Ho hum. Another day, another 11 strikeouts for Shane Bieber. There is no end in sight for his impressive run this season, and he’s by far the runaway candidate for the AL Cy Young at this point. This slider completely fooled Jose Osuna, who flapped at this pitch with his eyes closed for some reason. Bieber also had a legitimate case for a share of the GIF Sandwich, but he’s had enough accolades already this year I felt it wasn’t necessary. He’ll have plenty more chances, don’t you worry.


Jose Berrios’ Curveball


Don’t worry, I haven’t forgotten about Jose Berrios. He fired a gem on Thursday, allowing only two baserunners in six innings while striking out 9. This nasty curve to Christian Yelich was completely unhittable, even for a guy as good as Yelich. It’s a fantastic way to end yet another great group of nasty pitches, and I’m very curious to see what the people vote as the nastiest pitch of the night because any one of these could be crowned the champion.

Be on the lookout for a tweet showing the best of the rest – there were so many GIFs worth sharing but there wasn’t nearly enough room in this space. Happy Friday!

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.

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Ben Brown

Ben is a lifelong resident of the great state of Maine who loves the wild and wacky intricacies of baseball. During the summer months, you'll find him either in the woods at a golf course or floating on the water upta camp, both with a local beer in hand and a game on the radio.

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