Tuesday saw a whole slate of interesting moments, from our first benches clearing moment of the year to multiple blunders in the outfield to a surprise NFL crossover.
Joe Kelly Causes a Socially-Distanced Benches Clearing Moment in Houston
In the bottom of the 6th with Joe Kelly on the mound against the heart of the order for the Astros, we saw a 2020 first. Kelly fondly remembers those 2017 playoffs where the Astros got the better of the Red Sox in the ALDS thanks to a loud little friend hidden by their dugout. It seems as though those memories bubbled up during this game when Kelly’s arm was a little wild to say the least.
After getting Jose Altuve to pop out to short, Kelly pitched to a 3-0 count against Alex Bregman. The fourth pitch of the at-bat found itself just a bit inside:
Kelly worked two more outs before he faced off against Carlos Correa with runners on second and third. On the first pitch of the at-bat, Kelly threw a slightly less-wild pitch that was closer to the plate—and it just so happened to be exactly in the direction of Correa’s head:
Correa struck out to end the inning, and as Kelly walked off the mound he exchanged some pleasantries:
Unfortunately, something must’ve gotten lost in translation as both benches piled out of the dugouts so that they could hear each other better.
Astros and Dodgers clear benches, have massive brawl
(2020 Socially Distanced Version) pic.twitter.com/kZPBqz0e73
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) July 29, 2020
While it was nowhere near as chaotic and epic as when Amir Garret single-handedly took on an entire team, this is the first instance of the Astros facing retaliation on the field and it provides an idea of what to expect in this (socially distanced) season.
Victor Robles Helps Vlad Jr. Hit a Homer
One week ago, Luis Robert did something that I usually see at most once a year:
Luis Robert almost makes a spectacular play… but he lost his glove. pic.twitter.com/fV92BPLckE
— White Sox Talk (@NBCSWhiteSox) July 23, 2020
Yesterday, Victor Robles decided to join Robert in this exclusive club of outfielders that lost their gloves on a home run. This happened after Robles collided with Emilio Bonifacio during Vlad Guerrero Jr.’s 2nd-inning at bat against Nationals reliever Austin Voth:
This also helped break Vlad Jr.’s home-run slump, his first one since Aug. 22, 2019.
Byron Buxton’s Blunder
Byron Buxton almost joined this club yesterday, but thankfully he was barely able to avoid it. Unfortunately, the end result was just as bad:
On the upside, at least he didn’t have to climb over the wall a la Dexter Fowler.
Blinded By The Light: The Shogo Akiyama Story
This was not a pretty day for outfielders across the league. In Cincinnati, Shogo Akayama fought through the sun that was barreling down on Great American Ball Park to make a routine put out of a Jason Kipnis pop-up.
— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 28, 2020
Or so he thought.
Don’t Slow Pitch Albert Pujols
Yesterday, renowned inventor of unique and questionable deliveries Nestor Cortes Jr. sought to showcase his latest innovation for a Mr. Albert Pujols. However, Mr. Pujols did not have time for this nor did he wish to watch Cortes Jr.’s crushingly slow delivery. Thus, with great disgust, Pujols decided to banish the ball to the outfield bleachers.
This reminds me of when Orlando “El Duque” Hernandez attempted to show up a prime Alex Rodriguez. This also showed pitchers around the world why you never throw two eephus pitches in a row.
A Championship Winning Former Baseball Player Officially Becomes an MLB Owner
No, I’m not talking about A-Rod and the Mets.
Yesterday, NFL Superstar Patrick Mahomes further ingrained himself with the city of Kansas City by announcing that he would become a part-owner of the Kansas City Royals.
Welcome to the #Royals family, @PatrickMahomes!#AlwaysRoyal pic.twitter.com/mRJE0sgzMl
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) July 28, 2020
Mahomes made history with this deal.
Super Bowl winning #Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes is now an owner… of a baseball franchise. He’s become part-owner of the #Royals. The youngest owner in sports history.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 28, 2020
Many NFL quarterbacks have a baseball history, although few compare to the Mahomes family. Mahomes was also a highly touted pitcher who was drafted by the Detroit Tigers in the 37th round of the 2014 Draft, but instead he wisely picked a career in football. Patrick’s dad, Patrick Mahomes Sr., was a journeyman pitcher that compiled a 42-39 record with a 5.47 ERA (84 ERA+) for six teams over 11 season.
The Royals royally slaughtered Mahomes Sr., and he had an 0-4 record with a 8.49 ERA, and gave up 17 BB to 11 SO. Is it possible that Mahomes Jr.’s entire career has been an attempt by his father to get revenge on the Royals? Did Mahomes Sr. negotiate some backroom deals to get his son drafted by the Chiefs so that he could bring a championship to the city and become a Kansas City sports legend? Did Mahomes Sr. then help his son sign the richest contract in NFL history so they could spend that money on buying the Royals and systematically dismantling the team from within?
It’s a possibility. Only time will tell.