Chris Sale's slider named nastiest pitch in baseball in poll of MLB players

John Tomase
January 08, 2019 - 4:05 pm
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Chris Sale is the most dominant pitcher in baseball when he's healthy. And the slider is his most dominant pitch.

Therefore, by the transitive property of baseball, it should come as no surprise that Sale's slider was voted baseball's nastiest pitch in a poll of players by MLB.com.

Sale's slider earned 16 first-place votes in the poll, which included such overpowering offerings as Blake Treinen's sinker, Corey Kluber's slider, and Craig Kimbrel's knuckle-curve.

Here's what a couple of players had to say, per Anthony Castrovince's story:

"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."

"Being a lefty and seeing that slider left-on-left, it's one of the sliders that people try to explain, but until you face it and get a chance to see it, it's hard to really talk about because it's just so crazy of a pitch," Cardinals second baseman Kolten Wong said. "It honestly looks like a fastball out of his hand, and all of a sudden it looks like it's coming across slightly the way you look at it on the TV, but it moves like three feet and you're like, 'How the (heck) am I even supposed to hit that?'"

Batters hit .113 against Sale's slider last year.

Also making the list: Kimbrel's hellacious curve, which earned seven votes, as well as Steven Wright's knuckleball, which earned one.

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