The 10 Nastiest Pitches from Thursday

The Nastiest Pitches from Thursday 5/23/2024.

Every morning, the We Love Baseball crew reviews the Nastiest Pitches from the previous day’s games. If you see something you think should be included here be sure to tweet @PitcherList to let us know. Or, if you’re a PL+ Member and part of our Discord, shout it out in the Nastiest Pitches channel.


Zack Wheeler’s Splitter



Wheeler’s new splitter (10% thrown) has been phenomenal holding opposing hitters to a .107 xAVG and .151 xwOBA while yielding a 34% whiff rate. After dropping in a curveball for a called strike, Wheeler caught Josh Smith fishing with a perfectly located splitter for his first punchout.


Luis Castillo’s Slider



Luis Castillo faced Giancarlo Stanton in the fifth in a sticky spot with the bases juiced and only one down. Castillo fell behind in the count 3-1 but battled back with three straight sliders for the punchout. Castillo’s slider has looked as strong as ever with a 5.58 PLV and a 20% SwStr rate.


Luis Gil’s Changeup



Gil won the battle of the Luis’s in the Bronx yesterday as he held the Mariners to one hit and two walks across six and a third innings while dropping his ERA to 2.11. Gil doesn’t have the sharpest control but his stuff is off the charts. And when he does pound the catcher’s mitt, like here in the fourth with this change against Luke Raley, it seems almost unfair.


Paul Skenes‘ Splitter



I have a sneaking suspicion we might be seeing more of this Skenes fellow. He was impressive again, holding the Giants to one run across six innings. He only recorded three strikeouts with a 26% whiff rate. However, his last punchout came on a filthy 93 mph splitter that left Heliot Ramos tied in a knot.


Erik Miller’s Fastball



Skenes got all the attention yesterday at PNC Park and rightfully so. However, his counterpart, Erik Miller, can throw some serious cheddar too. He served as the opener and got five outs, three of them strikeouts. He’s turned into a solid lefty reliever for the Giants with a 31.5% K rate albeit with a bunch of walks.


Hayden Wesneski’s Sweeper



Wesneski’s fastball has cost him woes, particularly as a starter but his sweeper continues to be one-of-a-kind. Thus far it has held batters to a .157 xBA and .183 xwOBA while earning a terrific 5.61 PLV. This sweeper to Luke Williams set up his second strikeout while pitching in relief of Ben Brown.


Ben Brown’s Curveball



Ben Brown started the game in a bit of trouble by allowing a leadoff single to Ronald Acuña Jr. and then issuing a walk to Ozzie Albies. However, he dug deep and weathered the middle of the order by getting Marcell Ozuna to fly out and then got Matt Olson to chase this filthy curve. Brown’s curveball has returned a 25.6% SwStr rate and it’s pretty easy to see why.


Matt Waldron’s Knuckleball



Matt Waldron led the game with 11 swings and misses as his knuckleball danced enough to hold the Reds to two earned runs over five innings. The results for Waldron haven’t been great so far as he had a 5.00 ERA entering the afternoon. Still, knuckleballs are just fun and can produce some pretty off-balance swings like this one from Nick Martini


Zack Wheeler’s Two-Seamer



Who doesn’t love a good front-door two-seamer? Wheeler’s old teammate with the Mets, Bartolo Colón, was the master of these. Wheeler locked up SBU alum Travis Jankowski with a perfectly located two-seamer for his fifth K of the afternoon. Another strong outing from Wheeler dropped his ERA to 2.53, 15th among qualified SPs.


Trent Thornton’s Sweeper



You might remember Thornton’s days as a starter for the Blue Jays. He didn’t have the arsenal to make it as a starter but he’s since leaned into his excellent sweeper and slider tandem to become an impactful reliever for the Mariners with a 3.05 ERA and 1.06 WHIP across 20.2 IP. This perfect dart on the outside corner featured some late glove side bite that had Jose Trevino swinging at air.


What was the Nastiest Pitch from 5/23?

Ryan Amore

A proprietor of the Ketel Marte Fan Club, Ryan Amore has been writing things at Pitcher List since 2019. He grew up watching the Yankees and fondly remembers Charlie Hayes catching the final out of the '96 WS. He appreciates walks but only of the base on ball variety.

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