The 8 Nastiest Pitches from Thursday

The Nastiest Pitches from Thursday 5/16/2024.

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.


Joe Ryan’s Splitter



Joe Ryan’s afternoon began with a dinger from Anthony Volpe. Ryan then tossed two splitters to Juan Soto, who fouled them off but the third one proved the charm. Ryan tossed 38 splitters which netted four whiffs on 16 swings. His splitter’s whiff rate is up overall this year from 21.3% to 31.6%.


Clarke Schmidt’s Cutter




Ryan’s counterpart Clarke Schmidt tossed a gem. His first meeting with Trevor Larnach featured a nasty sequence, although you could say that about quite a few of them as the man was dealing. He followed this pitch with a knuckle curve inside. Larnach fouled it off. Schmidt then went with another cutter up and away and Larnach swung through it for his second punchout. Schmidt led the game with 16 whiffs, 10 coming via the cutter.


Clarke Schmidt’s Curveball



Schmidt’s curve had some moments too en route to yesterday’s gallows pole. Max Kepler came rolling into the game hitting .386 with a 1.119 OPS in May. So much for that. He went 0-for-4 with a strikeout which came on this trapdoor curve from Schmidt. The curve has held opposing bats to a .260 wOBA/.242 xwOBA thus far.


Hayden Wesneski’s Sweeper



Hayden Wesneski turned in a couple of impressive starts earlier in May but he’s back in the pen where the Cubs can deploy him and his hellacious sweeper in middle relief. He gave the Cubs a chance by getting four key outs, three of them strikeouts, the last being this bender to Oneil Cruz that dotted the low inside corner. Wesneski’s slider has held batters to a .205 wOBA / .190 xwOBA with a 5.59 PLV.


Jared Jones‘ Slider



Jared Jones didn’t get a single whiff from his fastball. But his slider picked up the slack with 15 on 31 swings for a silly 48% whiff rate. Give Seiya Suzuki credit, he followed this half-hearted swing on this nasty slider in his first at-bat with a single to left on the next pitch, a 98 mph heater.


Nick Martinez’s Changeup



Nick Martinez has been invaluable to the Reds pen so far. Last night, he fired five innings in relief in a surprise blowout win over the Dodgers at Chavez Ravine. His changeup has been a revelation for the past two seasons. This year, it’s held hitters to a .233 wOBA/.210 xwOBA. Freddie Freeman led off the fourth giving us a glimpse of the pitch that’s also returned a terrific 19.5% SwStr this season.


José Alvarado’s Cutter



The Mets looked poised to add to their 5-4 lead in the 11th with back-to-back hits from J.D. Martinez and Harrison Bader but José Alvarado wriggled out of it and kept it a one-run game. Starling Marte whiffed on this nasty cutter for this first out. Mark Vientos followed and K’d on a similar-looking cutter off his shoetops. Alvarado’s cutter’s whiff rate is down a few ticks this year to 36.4% but it’s yet to allow a hit.


Garrett Cleavinger’s Sweeper


Cleavinger’s control is a little dicey but his player page is otherwise impressive including a K rate of 36.6%. His sweeper features 20.2 inches of horizontal break. Garrett Cooper had no chance. In case you were wondering, no, Cooper didn’t survive this and struck out two pitches later on another sweeper.


What was the Nastiest Pitch from 05/16/2024?

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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