Mike Kickham’s Slider and the Nastiest Pitches from 9/10

Ben Brown details the nastiest pitches from Thursday's games.

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!


Mike Kickham’s Slider




Who is Mike Kickham? I’m a Red Sox fan and I still had no idea he was on the roster. Well, he struck out eight in four innings and this slider is absolutely filthy. In his four innings of work, his slider and curveball had a 48% CSW and a 52% CSW, respectively. I’m not qualified to tell you whether or not this is for real, but for this one night it was good enough to keep the Sox in the game. Well done, Mike.


Andre Scrubb’s Knuckle-Curve




This Andre Scrubb curveball falls out of the sky and hits its’ spot on the corner beautifully. This is the first I’ve seen of him and he unleashed a few curves that were simply gorgeous, but this one was easliy the best of the bunch. Scrubb has a two pitch mix, his cutter and curveball, with the latter clearly being the best of the two. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Scrubb down the line.


Jack Flaherty’s Slider




I prefer the slow-mo version of this pitch since Flaherty’s ankle gets in the way of the other view, but it doesn’t take away from the nastiness of the pitch. Flaherty pitched five innings against the Tigers on Thursday, earning the win in a lopsided 12-2 victory. He did throw 95 pitches in those five innings so it wasn’t the most efficient outing of his life, but his slider had a 41% CSW and this pitch is a good indicator of how difficult it was to hit on the day.


Kyle Gibson’s Curveball




Kyle Gibson gave up five earned run in 5.2 innings, striking out only three in a very mediocre outing. This curveball to Matt Thaiss had some pretty nasty break to it, and the pitch had a 55% CSW on 11 thrown, easily his most effective pitch on the day. The rest of his pitches were what some may call garbage, but Gibson is still a talented guy who can put it all together on any given night. Best of luck next time, Kyle.


Chris Paddack’s Changeup




Chris Paddack left the game in the 2nd inning with a sprained ankle, and it’s too bad because he looked like he was locked in prior to leaving with four strikeouts in six batters faced. This changeup to Brandon Belt was a strike for 95% of the time it was in the air, until the very last second when it tailed out of the zone. Belt realized too late what was happening and his flailing swing had no shot of making contact. Hopefully Paddack’s injury so he can return to the mound quickly.


Sonny Gray’s Sinker




I love a good sinker and Sonny Gray has one of the best in the game. Ian Happ was taking this pitch all the way and the disgust on his face looked like the kind of look you get when you know something is coming but still fall for it. Gray only lasted 3.1 innings after the rain delay, allowing five earned runs. It wasn’t Gray’s best start of the year but the 30 year old is still one of the league’s elite pitchers.


Brady Singer’s Slider




Brady Singer took a no hitter into the 8th inning before giving up a single with two outs. He was up over 115 pitches at that time so it was probably good for his long term health that he was taken out after giving up the hit, but obviously Singer wanted to keep going and I don’t blame him. He’s been up and down of late but Thursday’s game gave us a glimpse of what he’s capable of. Oh, and this slider is pretty good, too.


Aaron Civale’s Curveball




Aaron Civale is the winner of tonight’s GIF sandwich despite allowing four runs to cross the plate. His curveball and sinker were both working but his sliders weren’t nearly as effective. Civale is locked into a starting rotation role in Cleveland and I think I’m going to be rostering him in a lot of places next season.


Sandy Alcantara’s Changeup




Sandy Alcantara gave up six runs in this one and didn’t earn his first strikeout until the middle of his outing. He has a really nice changeup in his arsenal and this one was especially nasty. Hopefully he can bounce back next time out.


Sean Manaea’s Curveball




Sean Manaea carried a no-hitter into the 5th inning and was pulled after 61 pitches in seven innings. Yes, you read that right, 61 pitches in seven innings. I’m not sure why he was pulled but it’s a shame, because he was dealing. This curveball had Josh Reddick swinging out of his shoes but it was his fastball that was doing the work with a 34% CSW and a bunch of fly balls. Manaea is on a roll.


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.

4 responses to “Mike Kickham’s Slider and the Nastiest Pitches from 9/10”

  1. Kiltron says:

    I miss the days of the polls…..can you add them back?

    • Ben Brown says:

      We’ve had an issue with our polling system and we’re working on a replacement for it. Trust me – we miss them too!

  2. max says:

    bring back POLLS

    also, Flaherty’s wind-up/delivery is what should be taught to all kids

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