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.
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Joe Musgrove’s Curveball
In the much-hyped matchup of Juan Soto and CJ Abrams playing against their old teams for the first time, Musgrove really brought his A-game. He tossed six innings of one-run ball with a 31% CSW, with the hook accounting for half of his eight whiffs.
Adam Ottavino’s Slider
Ottavino continues to show why he has one of the best sweepers in the game. From his slow windup to his cross-bodied delivery to the immense amount of horizontal movement (up to 16 inches), this pitch is practically unhittable.
Dustin May’s Curveball
Yesterday marked the triumphant return of May, who missed the past year after undergoing elbow surgery. He was completely dominant in this start, touching 99 mph on his fastball while throwing four different pitches with confidence. He allowed just one hit while striking out nine hitters in five innings, and this curveball earned seven whiffs on just 10 swings. In just one game, May reminded everyone that he’s one of the most electric hurlers in the game.
Drew Rasmussen’s Cutter
This Rays young hurler makes yet another appearance on Nastiest Pitches. This great cutter has a unique combination of high velocity and a lot of movement, and it works well when complimented by his fastball and sweeping slider. Rasmussen had a 39% cutter CSW as he struck out eight Royals, getting the win.
Joey Krehbiel’s Changeup
The Orioles look like wild card contenders for the first time in quite a while, and their elite bullpen has been one of the biggest reasons why. As a staff, they rank 4th in the majors in ERA, and the bulk of the success has come from young developed players like Krehbiel, who has an ERA of 3 this year.
Spencer Strider’s Slider
Despite this slider coming in at a blazing 88 mph, it was a serious change of pace from Strider’s 99 mph fastball. This one caught Yuli Gurriel off guard and he kinda just threw his bat at the ball, missing entirely as the bat flew down the first base line. Despite throwing just the fastball and slider 97% of the time, Strider led all starting pitchers in whiffs yesterday with 21.
Devin Williams‘ Changeup
The airbender is back! While Williams had some control issues in this appearance, the raw stuff was nastier than ever. His spin rate on both the changeup and fastball were up by about 100 rpm from his season average, and he topped out at nearly 3000 rpm on the change. This physics-defying movement got a big whiff below the zone from Patrick Wisdom.
Cristian Javier’s Knuckle Curve
While the Astros staff is full of studs like Justin Verlander and Framber Valdez, Javier may be the best strikeout artist of them all. His combination of a fastball with deceptive vertical movement, a hard slider, and this downer curveball, Javier is striking out nearly 12 batters per nine innings and has an ERA below 3 in his best season so far.
Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)