If you thought April had some crazy pitches, you won’t believe what May’s Nastiest GIF tournament has in store. But before we kick off the second monthly tournament of the year, there are a few pitches that didn’t quite make the cut. In any other month, these might’ve made the final cut. Who knows what could’ve happened from there?
Which pitch do you think deserved a spot among the final 16? Vote in the poll at the bottom of this article to let your voice be heard!
Dakota Hudson’s Sinker
What a way to set down the first hitter of a ball game. Dakota Hudson is out here throwing 94 at hitter’s hands and somehow getting it over for a strike. Pitches in the mid-90s never used to move this much, never mind drop when they’re well above the zone. Adam Eaton did what any normal human would do in this situation, so you can’t knock him… too much. He still looks silly getting buckled up.
Zach Eflin’s Two-Seam Fastball
Ever wonder what painted 94 with movement looks like? Look no further, because that’s exactly what Zach Eflin offered here. As much as crazy movement and gas are what’s most glorified when it comes to pitching, Eflin’s ability to dot this pitch is what’s most impressive. And his control probably has something to do with him shoving through the first two months of the season.
Touki Toussaint’s Curveball
Normally, the slow motion, close-up replay of a pitch amplifies just how nasty the offering was. This one of Touki Toussaint’s curveball does that, but is overshadowed by something else. The look on Paul DeJong’s face midway through his swing screams defeat and is something you cannot unsee.
Mike Soroka’s Slider
The camera angle at Oracle Park isn’t the greatest when it comes to appreciating pitch movement or when it comes to determining whether a pitch is on or off the edge. However, it’s pretty clear as day this slider from Mike Soroka was a strike, so who knows what Brandon Belt was upset about. Maybe he’s mad he didn’t swing? But did he really have a chance at this slide-piece?
Clayton Kershaw’s Curveball
This is the favorite to win the vote. An absolute hammer from Clayton Kershaw that nearly made its way into the tournament, but somehow didn’t receive the justice it deserves. It might’ve had something to do with Willy Adames putting a good swing on this pitch. But that may have to do with most guys expecting absurd movement from one of the greatest pitchers of this generation. If it was anyone but Kershaw, Adams may have been more inclined to buckle.
Tyler Duffey’s Curveball
Tyler Duffey’s hook is no joke. Especially when it looks like it’s about to be meat hung down the middle of the plate and drops just out of the zone. He’s so long with his movement, yet efficient, making it hard for Yonder Alonso and any opposing hitter to pick up the spin… until it’s too late.
Which one of these pitches most deserved to be included in the tournament?