The 9 Nastiest Pitches From Monday

The Nastiest Pitches from Monday's games

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.


Triston McKenzie’s Curveball



Scores of sun-gazers traveled to Cleveland to witness the solar eclipse, but Triston McKenzie shined brightest on Monday. The lanky right-hander opened his outing with this curveball that rose and fell like the moon over Cleveland’s afternoon sky. Where McKenzie relied on flyballs and groundballs for most of his outs, he silenced Chicago’s offense over his five and two-thirds innings to secure his first win.


Tanner Banks‘ Fastball



Tanner Banks was not to be outdone by his counterpart in Cleveland. Whereas McKenzie elicited outs by putting the ball in play, Banks went after and through opposing hitters, striking out five of the first six Cleveland hitters. None of these were sweeter than this high-and-away fastball that zipped into the zone to end the second inning and strike out the side. Banks didn’t last another inning before departing, but pitches like that can excite a White Sox club that’ll settle for anything amidst their 1-9 start.


Graham Ashcraft’s Cutter



Some pitches are unfair; Borderline impossible to touch, let alone hit. Then, there are pitches like this 100-mile-per-hour cutter from Graham Ashcraft. What’s there to do against something like that when not even Jackson Chourio could it? And how could he? If only Ashcraft were as untouchable throughout his start. The Brew Crew battled back in the fifth and the sixth, scoring five earned runs against Ashcraft to sour his six-strikeout performance.


Emmanuel Clase’s Cutter



Let’s stick in the Buckeye State and travel from Cincinnati to Cleveland to visit another master of the cutter, Emmanuel Clase. While Ashcraft went up and away, Clase went low and inside to embarrass his opponent with this 98-mile-per-hour cutter. Catcher Austin Hedges didn’t have to blink or move a muscle to receive this signed, sealed, and delivered beauty.


Reese Olson’s Sinker



How do you make professional hitters look like amateurs? If you’re Reese Olson, sprinkle in your sinker. Olson unleashed a majestic sinker that clung to the outside part of the zone and froze Ke’Bryan Hayes to strike out the side. Hayes can find solace in knowing he’s not the first to fall prey to the 24-year-old’s sinker. The pitch generated a 50% chase rate coming into Monday night’s game. Not all that glitters is gold, however. The Pirates scored six runs on Olson after the first and ended his night early to get their revenge.


Spencer Turnbull’s Changeup



Spencer Turnbull needed to stop the bleeding. With a runner on second and two outs, Turnbull had his chance. All he needed was to get Nolan Gorman out. The at-bat started in Turnbull’s favor, getting to a 0-2 count after Gorman fouled off back-to-back pitches. Gorman countered, taking the next three pitches to work the count full and force the ball back in Turnbull’s court. His salve? This low changeup that Gorman golfed at but whiffed through. Side retired. All quiet on the St. Louis front.


Mitch Keller’s Sinker 



It was a tale of two pitchers in Pittsburgh Monday night. As Reese Olson flamed out following a hot start, Mitch Keller’s strength grew as the game deepened. After allowing a run in the first inning, Keller took the Tigers to task with sinkers at the top and bottom of the zone. This rising sinker to Kerry Carpenter was as gnarly as it was opportune, stranding a runner at second to preserve Pittsburgh’s lead. Keller allowed just two runs over six innings of work, propelling the Pirates to another win and slashing his season ERA from 6.55 to 5.29.


José Berríos‘ Slurve



In a battle of the aces between Luis Castillo and José Berríos, Berrios came out on top. Seattle had their chances, like this fifth-inning opportunity with two on and one out, but Berrios slammed the door shut every time, unlike Castillo. Berrios’ murder weapon this time? A slurve that dips down before turning inside and past Josh Rojas‘ hands.


Blake Snell’s Curveball



They say the first impression is a lasting one. If that’s true, the San Francisco faithful fell in love with Blake Snell after the first inning. The prized offseason acquisition opened his tenure striking out three of the first four hitters he faced, the last of which came courtesy of this curveball that dropped like a piece of breaking news. Unfortunately, for Snell that first impression and the magic that came with it faded fast. The Nationals took the lead in the second, Snell’s pitch count climbed to 60, and Snell’s anticipated debut ended as quickly as it came.


What was the Nastiest Pitch from 4/8/24?


Photos courtesy of Icon Sportswire
Adapted by Kurt Wasemiller (@kurtwasemiller on Twitter / @kurt_player02 on Instagram

Josh Shaw

Josh Shaw graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2022 with a Journalism degree. He's written for The New Hampshire, Pro Sports Fanatics, and PitcherList.

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