The Nastiest 16 Pitches GIFs of the First Half of 2019—Semifinals

We've gathered the 16 nastiest pitching GIFs from the first half of the season. Which one was the best?

The first half of 2019 was a big one for pitchers. Mike Fiers threw another no-hitter, and other pitchers are starting to come to full form. Most importantly, some absurd GIFs emerged in the first half. So ridiculous that the list of honorable mentions from this half probably would have made most other tournaments in the past. Now it’s time to crown the best pitching GIF of them all from the first three and a half months of the season.

The best 16 have been pulled aside and ranked. The field was whittled down to eight following Tuesday’s round. Yesterday, we brought that total down to four. Now it’s on you, the voter, to decide which stands above the rest.

Here are the rules:

  • All GIFs were pulled from the first half of 2019 (All-Star Game does not count!).
  • You can only vote on a matchup once, so make sure you pick the one you absolutely want.
  • Voting will continue until 12:00 a.m. EDT the following morning. This is the semi-final round.



Here are the results from Round 1:


American Bracket


1. Chaz Roe’s Slider defeated 8. Jordan Hicks‘ Slider
7. Jose Alvarado’s Two-Seamer defeated 2. Jordan Hicks‘ Fastball
3. Adam Ottavino’s Two-Seamer defeated 6. Aaron Nola’s Two-Seamer
4. Kyle Hendricks‘ Changeup defeated 5. Kyle Crick’s Slider


National Bracket


1. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer defeated 8. Yonny Chirinos‘ Two-Seamer
2. Yu Darvish’s Slider defeated 7. Luis Castillo’s Changeup
6. Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball defeated 3. Chris Sale’s Slider
5. Justin Verlander’s Fastball defeated 4. Framber Valdez’s Sinker 


Here are the quarterfinal results:


American Bracket


1. Chaz Roe’s Slider defeated 4. Kyle Hendricks‘ Changeup
7. Jose Alvarado’s Two-Seamer defeated 3. Adam Ottavino’s Two-Seamer


National Bracket


1. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer defeated 5. Justin Verlander’s Fastball
2. Yu Darvish’s Slider defeated 6. Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball


And here are the semifinal matchups:

American Bracket


1. Chaz Roe’s Slider vs. 7. Jose Alvarado’s Two-Seamer


National Bracket


1. Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer vs. 2. Yu Darvish’s Slider


Watch the GIFs in the Links Below!


Graphic by Justin Paradis (@freshmeatcomm on Twitter)

Chaz Roe’s Slider vs. Jose Alvarado’s Two-Seamer


Jose Alvarado’s journey here wasn’t easy. Our tournament’s 7 seed had to upset Jordan Hicks and Adam Ottavino to make it this far. This round, the question becomes: What will happen when two Rays relievers face off head to head? Because Alvarado is going up against his teammate Chaz Roe

It’s not every day a slider starts off on the inside half of the plate and ends up about a foot outside, but Roe shows us here the seemingly impossible can be done. And as for Alvarado? Well there’s not much to say, except that we’ve been proven wrong. He’s steamrolled through our 2 and 3 seeds, and he has a chance to get a third upset if he can take down his bullpen buddy today. So is his absurd two-seamer enough to topple a giant? There’s only one way to find out.








Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!


[polldaddy poll=10365966]

Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer vs. Yu Darvish’s Slider


While our first semifinal matchup included a 7 seed, the right half of our bracket was devoid of any major upsets, as we have a matchup of our top two seeds.

Let’s start off with “underdog” Yu DarvishDarvish’s slider easily cruised through Rounds 1 and 2, much like how the pitch itself sailed past David PeraltaBut Luis Castillo is out for revenge. Because you see, Darvish already defeated Castillo’s changeup in Round 1 of the tournament. However, Castillo’s two-seamer is a different and (I would argue) nastier offering than his changeup. The pitch is an absolute killer that just froze seasoned veteran Eric Hosmer. So will Castillo get his revenge? Or will Darvish march onward to the finals?








Which was the better pitch? Vote to decide which pitch advances to the next round!


[polldaddy poll=10365974]

Donny Moskovits

Donny currently studies Financial Mathematics at Baruch College. He writes nastiest pitches articles here at Pitcher List, and is a die hard Mets fan whose optimism can only be described as unbridled.

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