Mark Melancon’s Knuckle-Curve and the Nastiest Pitches From 9/15

As always, we bring you the nastiest pitches from the Tuesday slate

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!

Mark Melancon’s Knuckle-Curve


Thirty-five-year-old Mark Melancon has held Atlanta’s closer role all year, thanks in large part to his elite knuckle-curve. He showed it off to Austin Hays to begin the ninth as it drops sharply out of the zone; Hays tries to stop his swing, but it’s too late and he becomes Melancon’s first victim of the night.


Tanner Houck’s Slider


Tanner Houck had a solid debut for the Red Sox on Tuesday displaying both a two-seam fastball with good arm side run, as well as a sharp slider. That slider is displayed here, as Houck frustrates Miguel Rojas to end the fourth inning. Houck would go on to strike out seven Marlins over five shutout innings.


Sandy Alcantara’s Sinker


Opposing Houck in this matchup was Sandy Alcantara, who had a strong outing in his own right. Alcantara would throw six innings limiting the Sox lineup to a single run. He showed off his upper 90s sinker often and got Bobby Dalbec to swing over the top of it here, before putting him away on the next pitch; a fastball at the top of the zone.


Jake Arrieta’s Changeup


Jake Arrieta has had a rough 2020 to this point; giving up a lot of hard contact while generating few whiffs. However, he still has the ability in any given start to show off the insane movement he can produce on his pitches. In the fourth inning on Tuesday night, he got Wilson Ramos to swing over the top of a changeup that completely falls off the table.


Yu Darvish’s Slider


The pitching matchup of the night pitted Yu Darvish against Carlos Carrasco in Chicago. While neither pitcher dominated, both turned in solid performances as the Cubs would win on a walk-off hit-by-pitch. Darvish had seven strikeouts in as many innings, and here got Franmil Reyes to swing through a sharp slider on the outside corner to end the fourth. (h/t to PL+ member Ben Bingham)


Carlos Carrasco’s Changeup


Carlos Carrasco turned in a similar outing to Darvish, as Carrasco gave up three runs in his six innings of work. He recorded five strikeouts and displayed a great changeup here to get Ian Happ way out in front and begin his outing with a strikeout.


Ryan Yarbrough’s Cutter


Ryan Yarbrough isn’t going to blow many hitters away with his velocity, but he has been a solid presence in the Rays’ bullpen the last few years, and has seen time as a starter as well. He pitched well in relief on Tuesday, following the Rays’ opener. Yarbrough struck out five over five and two-thirds innings including this strikeout of Asdrubal Cabrera on a perfectly placed backdoor cutter.


Huascar Ynoa’s Slider


Huascar Ynoa got the start for Atlanta on Tuesday and turned in four strong innings collecting five strikeouts. Four of those strikeouts came on sliders located down and out of the zone similar to this one that got Ryan Mountcastle reaching.


Sean Manaea’s Changeup


Sean Manaea pitched well on Tuesday, but took the loss as he couldn’t match Antonio Senzatela’s complete game performance. Manaea struck out seven over five and two-thirds, and began his outing with this strikeout of Raimel Tapia on a split-change that continued to run away from Tapia to get the whiff.


Jose Urquidy’s Changeup


Jose Urquidy found a lot of success with his changeup on Tuesday with four of his seven strikeouts coming on the pitch. This one to strikeout Leody Taveras may have been his best of the night as Urquidy’s circle-change showed some late run to end up just out Taveras’ reach.

Colin McCusker

Colin is a former collegiate pitcher who now spends his time watching as much baseball as possible.

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