The 10 Best MLB Moments From Saturday

Firsts, fights, and nose-related stuff.

Holy cow, baseball is back! For real this time, with a 162-game schedule, and fans in the stands. I was busy getting my second Moderna shot on Opening Day (in my Joba jersey, natch) so you will absolutely be able to catch me in The Bronx soon getting way too worked up over every pitch. Hopefully, by the end of this year we may even be able to get a few Pitcher List meetups under our belts, wouldn’t that be something?

In the meantime, feel free to blast some Puig Destroyer and join me on a voyage through the good, bad, and weird from last night.

 

The Twins In Milwaukee

 

We like to throw the term “pitchers duel” around a good amount these days, and I get it. But last night we got a real, for sure, historically significant, capitalize the letters Pitchers Duel between the Twins and Brewers. Corbin Burnes took a no-hitter into the 7th inning when he gave up a dinger to Byron Buxton (on pace for 162 home runs) to end his bid. José Berrios had also not given up a hit through 6 innings, at which point Baldelli decided he was done for the day with 84 pitches.

I mentioned this was a historic occurrence, but just how historic?

 

How’s “First time in over 120 years” do ya for? 

 

I don’t envy the Nastiest Pitches crew trying to sift through all of this game to find the gifs for their article…

 

Barnhart Bobbles

 

Catchers have to juggle so much to play their positions. Calling pitches, making sure the infield knows the call when runners are on, catching guys stealing, telling the umpires how good/bad they look that day depending on the calls, you get the picture.

But then of course Tucker Barnhart had to go and add literally juggling to his list of responsibilities as he made dang sure that Tyler Mahle was gonna get that K.

Mahle kept it together impressively on the mound there, no reaction until the fist-pump once everything was secured.

 

Seeing Reds

 

Stop me if you’re heard this one before: Yadier Molina took offense to somebody being mean to his pitcher and a whole brouhaha broke out.

 

It all started with Nick Castellanos getting hit by a pitch from Jake Woodford and politely offering him the ball back:

When Castellanos eventually came around to score on a wild pitch, he was, uh, just a little amped up:

 

You can see footage of the entire tussle here, although it’s really the standard baseball “fight” where guys in ill-fitting pajamas stand around glaring angrily before they go back to their respective dugouts:

 

If nothing else is truly impressive how painterly so many moments involving the Reds getting into bench-clearing incidents end up looking like. But as far as hard feelings go for the players involved?

 

Speed Thrills

 

We may only be on day three of the 2021 season, but it shouldn’t be a secret that Jazz Chisholm is fast. Very fast. Baseball Savant had him in the 81st percentile for sprint speed in 2020 but that might be a bit low.

En route to the Marlins beating the Rays, Jazz was walked, proceeded to steal second while Rich Hill was looking right at him, stole third just because at that point why not, and then to top it all off, he scored on a shallow fly ball to right field.

And infinity bonus points for the incredibly rad hair.

 

Paying It Phorward

 

We all know the Phanatic is kind of a big deal, especially in Philadelphia. But what should the living embodiment of the City Of Brotherly Love do when Bryce Harper wears a pair of cleats in homage to you?

Well, you wear a pair that pays tribute to him.

There is something deeply hilarious about the contrast between the wild fur that Bryce has on his cleats vs the little stuffed men on the Phanatic’s, it’s so…unexpected.

 

Kershaw Picks ‘Em

 

There’s a lot going on in this clip, mostly the inside-the-park HR, which also happens to be Zach McKinstry’s first big league home run. But the most important thing happens at around 30 seconds in:

That’s World Series ring-haver Clayton Kershaw just absolutely going for it, ignorant or uncaring about the camera that is literally in his face. Ah, the carefree life of a champion.

 

Yermín Engineering

 

Yermín Mercedes wasn’t going to let a pair of pitchers take all of the Modern Era firsts this weekend, though. As if going 5-5 on Opening Day wasn’t enough, he went 3-4 last night, adding his first big league homer while he did it.

 

He’s currently slashing .889/.889/1.444 which is good for a very cool (and very sustainable) 554 wRC+. Personally, I’m just furious with myself for not knowing about Mercedes and drafting him in every league given that he is everything I look for in a fantasy catcher.

 

Long Time No See

 

In addition to a pair of events that haven’t happened in over a century, we got to see Lucas Luegte‘s first time toeing the slab in a big-league park since 2015:

Between Luetge, yesterday’s starter Corey Kluber, and yet-to-debut Jameson Taillon, the Yankees have a bit of a theme going with their pitchers…

 

Two First-Timers

 

Meanwhile, on the complete opposite end of the spectrum we got to see two true MLB firsts last night. In Seattle, it was Taylor Trammell who got his first MLB hit with a hard-hit RBI double:

Way down the coast, Ha-Seong Kim also doubled up on first MLB hit and RBI:

Here’s to many more from both of them!

 

Tyler Kinley Moustache Appreciation Station

 

No stats or history here. Just vibes.

I mean, just look at it.

 

I had a half-finished facial hair list last year with names and dates for a potential roundup of the best in the sport, but I think I’m just gonna call ’em as I see em this season, so buckle up folks.

Photo by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns on Twitter)

Asher Dratel

Asher hails from Brooklyn, wears a 2008 Joba Chamberlain jersey to every Yankees game he attends, and pronounces BABIP funny. Appreciator of Beefy Lad dingers and beers.

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