Between Pete Alonso surpassing Aaron Judge’s rookie home run record, a historic third no-hitter from Justin Verlander, and some exciting playoff races in both leagues, this September has been jam-packed with great action, great moments, and of course, nasty pitches. But before we kick off the September tournament, there are a few pitches that didn’t quite make the cut. In any other situation, 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!
Max Fried’s Curveball
Max Fried has played an important role this year in a surprisingly elite Braves rotation that features guys such as Fried and Mike Soroka, who have been super effective against opposing hitters. Yes, Fried does have a 4.02 ERA, but he also sports an impressive xFIP and SIERA, which should help his team down the road as they try to capture their first NL pennant since the 20th century.
Chaz Roe’s Slider
Is this the month that we finally relegate Chaz Roe to honorable mentions? Well … not really. But Roe had two phenomenal pitches this month, and we wanted to give some other guys a chance to show their stuff in our main bracket. So here is Roe’s honorable-mention pitch, a wicked slider that gets far more movement than one would think is possible. Just another day at the office for Roe, I guess.
Sergio Romo’s Changeup
Since he was traded across leagues, Sergio Romo has been an effective arm at the back end of an already solid bullpen. In 22.2 innings in Minnesota, Romo has a 3.18 ERA and 10.7 K/9. Romo’s changeup has been great for the Twins, and if he and the rest of the bullpen can continue to dominate, they’ll give the Twins a shot at winning more than just an AL Central crown.
Walker Buehler’s Fastball
Walker Buehler will certainly get plenty of down ballot votes (and perhaps a few at the higher end of the ballot) when the BBWAA votes on the Cy Young Award later this year. Buehler’s stuff is elite, and although he won’t win the award this year, with a fastball like this that zips past opposing hitters, it’s well within the realm of possibility that Buehler takes home the hardware in the near future.
Jordan Lyles‘ Curveball
Jordan Lyles has been a pleasant surprise for fantasy owners this season who streamed him down the stretch. Lyles won 12 games with the Brewers and struck out more than a batter an inning while keeping his ERA in the low 4’s. Although Lyles isn’t a great pitcher, he certainly has his great moments, such as this one here, where Lyles drops a beauty below the bat of Jorge Alfaro.
Luis Castillo’s Two-Seamer
Luis Castillo took a huge step forward this season, increasing his K/9 from 8.7 to 10.7 and lowering his ERA by more than half a run. Although he won’t be pitching in the playoffs, we may very well see him there next year as he leads a very solid rotation that features him, Sonny Gray, Trevor Bauer, and Anthony DeSclafani. For now though, we’ll just have to appreciate this ridiculous two-seamer that he blows by Paul DeJong.
Tyler Glasnow’s Curveball
Led by an analytically driven front office, the Rays have made all the right moves, including making a trade for Tyler Glasnow. If it weren’t for an early season injury, Glasnow would certainly be in contention for Rookie of the Year in the AL. He was out for several months and only made his return this September, but since he’s been back, he’s been dominant. Here, he throws a filthy curveball to get a whiff out of Billy McKinney, which I just hope we get to see a lot more of in October.
Evan Marshall’s Changeup
Rounding out our honorable mentions, we’ve got Evan Marshall and his absurd changeup. There isn’t much to say about Marshall the pitcher, but this pitch certainly speaks volumes about itself. Shohei Ohtani absolutely flails at this filthy offspeed offering that Marshall seemingly delivers right down Broadway before it runs out of the zone and away from Ohtani’s bat.
Which one of these pitches most deserved to be included in the tournament?