The Nastiest Pitches From April: Smokin’ Sixteen

Sixteen enter, who will win?

Every day we bring you the nastiest pitches of the previous night’s games, and there are a bunch to sift through for our weekly Nastiest Pitch series to determine which pitches are the nastiest of the week. We’ve since narrowed it down to sixteen of the very best pitches from the previous month, and it’s up to you to determine which pitch will be crowned the Nastiest Pitch of April.

Vote for one pitch in each matchup, and be sure to come back tomorrow to vote in the next round. Every vote counts, and your opinion matters!


Featured image by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)


4/12 – Diego Castillo’s Sinker (1)






4/29 – Adbert Alzolay’s Sinker (4)




This is a David vs. Goliath matchup in the first round. One of these pitches is among the best I’ve ever seen, while the other is nice and gets a pretty wild swing but isn’t an all-timer. Yes, Diego Castillo’s sinker is the number one overall seed and is a pitch I expect to go far in this tournament, as well as in the eventual Nastiest Pitches of the Year tournament. Nothing against Adbert Alzolay, but his pitch is a four seed for a reason. But who knows? Maybe this is a Virginia-UMBC moment, and an upset is brewing. Cast your vote and tune in tomorrow to find out!


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


4/1 – Lucas Giolito’s Changeup (3)






4/7 – Shane Bieber’s Knuckle-Curve (2)




This is a showdown of two Money Pitches with sky-high CSW rates. Lucas Giolito’s changeup has a 38.4% CSW%, while Shane Bieber’s knuckle-curve has returned a 42.5% CSW% to this point. Both pitches have been truly dominant this season, so it’s only fitting that they end up in contention for nastiest of the month. That Giolito changeup was the nastiest of opening day and led to a collective “WHOA!” moment in the Discord for those of us who were watching together. We, unfortunately, didn’t share a similar moment for this Bieber pitch, but that doesn’t take away from how filthy it still was.


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


4/2 – Chaz Roe’s Slider (1)






4/7 – Justin Dunn’s Slider (4)




We’ve now reached the Slider region of the bracket, with the first matchup between Chaz Roe, the slider king, and an up-and-coming pitcher in Justin Dunn. I actually compared these two pitches in my original writeup for Dunn’s pitch, and now that I’m seeing them side by side, it’s really no contest. Except it is a contest, and you have to vote, potentially making me look bad by crowning the king prematurely. Don’t let me down, voters.


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


4/22 – Kendall Graveman’s Slider (3)






4/14 – Blake Treinen’s Slider (2)




Our second slider matchup is between two sliders that both end up way over on the glove side. The main difference between the two? Trevor Story looked like he swung at a whiffle ball while Marwin González took an arrow to the knee. Blake Treinen added 10 inches of horizontal break on his slider this year, and it seems like every one he’s thrown has been featured in Nastiest Pitches. Meanwhile, if Kendall Graveman ends up moving on, Marwin González deserves some of the credit for standing in there and taking that pitch off the kneecap. This is a tough matchup, and I’m excited to see who moves on.


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


4/29 – Shane McClanahan’s Sinker (1)






4/16 – Willians Astudillo’s “Curveball” (4)




Is this even a fair fight? Shane McClanahan’s sinker hit triple digits while Willians Astudillo’s “curveball” (as Baseball Savant classified it) didn’t even reach half that. McClanahan’s sinker is nasty because it’s literally unhittable, while Astudillo’s pitch is very much hittable but totally unexpected. McClanahan’s sinker is to Bitcoin as Astudillo’s pitch is to Dogecoin – one is a great long-term investment, but the other could literally go to the moon? Which do you prefer?


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


4/3 – Corbin Burnes‘ Cutter (3)






4/7 – Jordan Hicks‘ Sinker (2)




This Corbin Burnes cutter was from his pitcher’s duel with José Berríos, the game where both pitchers took a no-hitter into the sixth inning. That was as fun of a game as you’ll see all season. Meanwhile, Jordan Hicks came back for the Cardinals briefly before being sidelined with yet another injury, but this 102 MPH sinker was a gift that keeps on giving. This is a tough matchup between two disgusting pitches.


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


4/20 – Kenley Jansen’s Cutter (1)






4/30 – Yu Darvish’s Sinker (4)




This is the first of two cutters from Kenley Jansen and, while I kind of want to see a Jansen Cutter-Off in the 2nd round, I also wouldn’t mind if Yu Darvish’s sinker shocked the world with an upset here. I’m a huge fan of sinkers that clip the inside part of the plate, and this one was absurdly filthy. However, the number one seeded cutter is as filthy of a pitch as you’ll see, and it’s tough competition. May the best pitch win.


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


4/19 – Dustin May’s Curveball (3)






4/11 – Kenley Jansen’s Cutter (2)




Something must be in the water over in Los Angeles because all of their breaking pitches have ridiculous movement this season. Kenley Jansen’s cutter is on another level this year and is only getting hit to the tune of a .053 AVG against to go along with a 32.1% CSW%. Meanwhile, I feel bad that we won’t get to see any more of Dustin May on the mound this season, but at least he left us with a few gems, most notably this vicious curveball that made Mitch Haniger look totally ridiculous. This is a tough matchup for sure.


Which Pitch Was Nastier?


Tune in tomorrow for the Exciting Eight, and don’t forget to let us know in the comments if your favorite pitch deserves some love!


Photo by David Dennis/Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Ben Brown

Ben is a lifelong resident of the great state of Maine who loves the wild and wacky intricacies of baseball. During the summer months, you'll find him either in the woods at a golf course or floating on the water upta camp, both with a local beer in hand and a game on the radio.

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