The 8 Nastiest Pitches from Thursday

Breaking down the Nastiest Pitches from Thursday 5/20

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!


Alex Claudio’s Slider




Any time you can get a player to swing and miss at a pitch that hits them, you deserve to lead off this list. That is exactly what Alex Claudio did on this slider to start off the at-bat against Josh Donaldson, a painful strike 1.


Matt Barnes‘ Knuckle Curveball




Matt Barnes came on in the 9th against the Blue Jays and picked up the save for the Red Sox 8-7 win. As part of his scoreless ninth inning, Barnes struck out the side, which included this strikeout of Randal Grichuk on a gorgeous knuckle curve moving down and away.


Sandy Alcantara’s Changeup




Sandy Alcantara threw six scoreless innings against the Phillies, racking up nine strikeouts along with a CSW of 35%. At the center stage of this outing was his changeup, which was his most frequently used pitch. Earning its usual spot in this article, we see Alcantara bear this changeup in towards Andrew McCutchen, with Cutch swinging right through it. (H/T to PL+ member AnOldWoodenShippy).


Aroldis Chapman’s Fastball




Aroldis Chapman extended his scoreless streak up to 17 games and 17 innings on Thursday, as he pitched a scoreless 9th for his 11th save of the season. Chapman has been looking more and more like his vintage self this season, as evidenced here with a 102 mile per hour fastball blown right past Khris Davis, coming off the bench for his first at-bat of the game.


Dane Dunning’s Sinker




Dane Dunning continues to impress this season as the centerpiece of the Lance Lynn trade. Yesterday, he tossed six scoreless innings and racked up a CSW of 34%. Here, we see him perfectly locate his sinker, painting the outside corner and catching Gary Sánchez looking, part of his six strikeouts on the afternoon.

Rich Hill’s Curveball




Rich Hill had himself another strong start in the win over the Orioles on Wednesday, going six strong and allowing only one run. Here, we see a gorgeous curveball bearing in on Freddy Galvis, which was swung through in order to set up one of Hill’s strikeouts on the very next pitch. This pitch had a horizontal break of 19 inches, an insane break in towards the batter.


Merrill Kelly’s Curveball




Merrill Kelly set a new career high on Thursday night with 10 strikeouts in seven strong innings of work, supporting himself with a CSW of 38%. Here, as part of his career high in strikeouts, we see a curveball dropping down in the zone to get Gavin Lux swinging. (H/T to PL+ member Pete Dixon).


Justin Steele’s Slider


Justin Steele came out of the bullpen and preserved the Cubs’ lead over the Nationals with 1.1 scoreless innings, with three of the outs coming via the strikeout. He had his slider working alongside multiple nasty options, but this slider bearing in on Starlin Castro took the cake, as it sent Castro on a long walk back to the dugout.


What was the Nastiest Pitch from 5/20?


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)

Callen Elslager

Callen is a law school student at Widener Law Commonwealth. When he doesn't have his head in the books studying law he can be found with his head in a Fangraphs or Baseball Savant page learning more about the sport he loves.

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