Chris Sale's slider voted nastiest pitch in baseball


Chris Sale's vicious slider, the one that left Manny Machado jelly-legged for the final out of the World Series, is reaching something of mythology in Red Sox lore.

And perhaps not surprisingly, in a recent poll conducted by of 85 players from 28 teams, that pitch was voted as the "nastiest in baseball". His slider got the most votes, with 16, five more than Oakland A's reliever Blake Treinen's sinker.

Per's Anthony Castrovince:

All you really need to know is that this is the pitch that made Manny Machado fall down to end the World Series.

Machado flailed helplessly at Sale's 84 mph offering that began off the outside edge of the plate and somehow ended up behind his plant foot. He had no chance, and neither did the Dodgers in that ninth inning of Game 5.

So what is it about the Sale slider that can make even one of the best players in baseball buckle on the biggest stage?

"He's throwing it from a completely different angle," said catcher Yan Gomes. "You don't see many lefties throwing it from second base, and then, the next thing you know, the ball is at first base, and then you take it, but it's in the strike zone."

Craig Kimbrel's searing knuckle-curve came in fourth at six votes, with Cubs second baseman Ben Zobrist saying, "That [pitch] combined with the fastball is a deadly combo. I could make contact [off the curve], but I don't know how people drive that."

Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Celtics easily on your device.


Contact Us