For anyone who hasn't noticed, MLB Gameday is showing something called Nasty Factor, which attempts to grade a pitch on a 0-100 scale based on things like velocity, movement, location, and the historical success of batters against similar pitches. It isn't a perfect measure by any means, but it's better than visually classifying some pitches as good and some pitches as bad, so it's interesting to play around with.
Below you'll find clips of Michael Pineda's three pitches from last night that showed the highest Nasty Factors. I can't even take myself seriously. Nasty Factor. It sounds ridiculous. Nasty Factor is a Joe Elliott side project.
First-pitch 82mph slider to Edwin Encarnacion, leading off the third. It's right on the edge of the zone, so it's not an easy strike for the umpire to call, but it's in a location such that there's not really anything Encarnacion could do if he swung.
It's interesting that this wound up tied for Pineda's nastiest pitch considering Miguel Olivo flat-out missed it. This was Pineda's second-to-last pitch of the game, an 83mph first-pitch slider to Corey Patterson in the eighth. It might have gone for a called strike had Olivo not treated it like the worst pitch any pitcher's ever thrown. I certainly don't think Patterson was looking for it.
And to round things out, we have a 96mph fastball to Edwin Encarnacion to lead off the eighth. Olivo actually wanted this pitch down, and you can see where it ended up. But where it ended up wound up being a good spot, because there's not much a righty can do with that pitch if he swings. You always prefer a pitcher who can hit his spots over a pitcher who can't. But a missed spot on an individual pitch isn't always a bad thing. Catchers do not always set up in the optimal spot. Sometimes there are other locations that are just as good, if not better.