The 5 Best MLB Moments from Tuesday

Everyone needs a Panda Hug, and if you say you don't you're lying.

Folks, there’s baseball in the air. Can you smell it? From the Citi Field to the sandlot, the bats are a-swingin’. Major League Baseball is a third of the way through the season, and your favorite team is probably plugging away its players’ All-Star campaigns on Twitter as we speak. The Minor League Baseball season now has a full month under its belt, and after a year in which many of its players had to skimp just to get by with their season canceled, those players are back out there, doing what they love for almost a living wage. Meanwhile, Trevor Bauer is back doing weird things on the mound that no one asked for.

The sport is healing.

Another baseball thing going on right now is the NCAA tournament, and several super-regional matchups were decided on Tuesday. Among them was unseeded Virginia’s upset win over #11 Old Dominion, which was inspired by one man’s quest for reasonably priced Dippin’ Dots:

Stephen Schoch’s save on Sunday kept the Cavaliers alive for Tuesday’s Game 7, which ended with a wild walk-off homer in the 10th from his teammate, Devin Ortiz, who began the game as the starting pitcher.

The pitcher of record was none other than Schoch, who threw three innings in relief. No word yet on whether he got his ‘Dots. But one guy who didn’t need any frozen desert incentives was Nebraska pitcher Cam Wynne (an excellent name, I gotta say), who was totally ready for this delivery:

The College World Series, which starts June 19th, is always a blast to watch both for these fun moments and for the chance to see future Big Leaguers get their first shot to impress on a big stage (like Kumar Rocker and Jack Leiter of Vanderbilt, who are set to take on East Carolina in the supers starting Friday). But as we all know, not every MLB star goes the U.S. collegiate route. AtMLB took a moment to recognize this in a cool video highlighting some of the game’s rising stars from the Dominican Republic, Cuba, and Venezuela:

Also unveiled on Tuesday were the Cubs’ new City Connect alternate uniforms, which seem to have drawn some mixed reviews so far. What do we think, love ’em or hate ’em?

If you’re in the latter camp, allow me to cleanse your palate with good ol’ pupper at the park:

And finally, before we get to the moments, here’s Alex Fast’s latest edition of Bass Hits—this time with a special guest!

Alright, enough of that nonsense. Let’s get to the good stuff. Here are the five best MLB moments from Tuesday.

Out of Touch

The strangest thing about the strangest thing that happened on Tuesday is that, well, it happened twice. Bear with me here. Perhaps you’ve heard of a fellow named Ke’Bryan Hayes? He’s fresh off the injured list and already hitting bombs, except for one problem: this one didn’t count because he never touched first base. Oof, Pirates.

They went to replay, of course, and… yeah, that’s an out. Rookie mistake, rookie.

But like I said, it gets weirder. Later that night in Frisco, Texas (as all good stories go), Royals’ top prospect Bobby Witt Jr. apparently made the same mistake, missing home plate on his second home run of the game. It was called back, and Witt Jr. had to settle for a long triple.

The only issue was, he kind of clearly did touch the plate. You can see it at the 24-second mark of the above video. But whatever. At least it gave us this fun Twitter exchange between a pair of equally famous Texas-born baseball players:

Lesson learned: Pirates gonna Pirate and umps gonna ump.

Panda Hugs All Around

Nobody watches Braves games for the baseball anymore. As a Braves fan, I know this. We watch it for two reasons and two reasons only: the first is Ronald Acuña Jr. breaking the rules of physics, and the second is Pablo Sandoval‘s world-famous dugout Panda Hugs. You just can’t beat ’em.

On Tuesday, we got both. And that’s worth celebrating. Here’s the first, a 460-foot wallop from Acuña that tied him with Vlad Jr. atop the MLB lead once again:

That sound you heard was 116 miles per hour off the bat, RAJ’s hardest-hit homer of his career and the hardest by any Braves player in the Statcast era. You better believe that earned a hug.

The very next inning, William Contreras hit a bomb of his own and was greeted with the same treatment:

If you were wondering, Austin Riley earned a hug as well for his eighth-inning shot that tied the game, but it didn’t make it into the trimmed clip that the team tweeted out. Shame on you, atBraves.

The Soto Shimmy

I know better than to post Acuña without saying that Juan Soto is also good at baseball because that’s a relevant fact to any such conversation clearly. Thankfully he made it easy this week by executing this delightfully random dance move whilst staring down Tyler Glasnow dead in the eyes.

An absolute masterclass in intimidation from Mr. Soto. Plus, strong hip control. 10/10 overall.

Mr. 470

Five days ago, Shohei Ohtani struck out 10 batters in six innings while earning the win against the Mariners, a Major League Baseball team. Yesterday he hit a ball 470 feet into oblivion for a home run in a Major League Baseball game. It was his 17th home run of the season, all in Major League Baseball games, which puts him one shy of the Major League Baseball home run lead. All of these things are normal. Nothing to see here.

This man is more than a man. I’m afraid there’s just nothing else left to say.

Brotherly Love

Remember that William Contreras home run I mentioned? Well, here it is in moving picture format:

The thing that makes this particular dinger special (other than the amazing hug that followed) involves the events which unfolded shortly after in San Diego. That would be a 7-1 win by the visiting Cubs, powered by the bat of one Willson Contreras, the little-known older brother of William. And he didn’t miss this one, either:

It was the first time that the Contreras brothers homered on the same day in their respective Big League careers, but I suspect it won’t be the last. Twenty-three-year-old William went 3-4 in the Braves’ 9-5 win with two runs and two RBIs, while Willson collected his 10th bomb and 29th run scored on the year, both tied for the N.L. lead among catchers. They’ve got a ways to go before they can catch the Molina family for most familial net production at the catcher position, but it’s a solid start.

By my count, this was the second time a pair of brothers have homered on the same day this season, after Corey Seager and Kyle Seager did so on April 26.

D is for Effort

Seeing excellent defensive plays is one of the things that makes watching a high-level baseball game so darn fun. We’re blessed to see it happen every day in MLB. However, some days are better than others. These are the days when turtles fly:

These are the days when the Hulk goes fishing, and he comes up with a full net:

These are the days when full-body grass stains are absolutely worth it:

These are also the days when going all-out means exposing yourself to potential wardrobe malfunctions:

And most of all, these are the days when… my goodness. What in the ever-loving Samwise Gamgee is even happening here?

I don’t know, but I love every second of it. Call this guy up ASAP—he deserves a Big League check for that gif alone.

Happy Wednesday, folks. Do yourself a favor and play some ball today. It’s what your boss would want, I promise.

Wynn McDonald

Born a Kentuckian, much like Dan Uggla. Braves fan by choice, unlike Dan Uggla. I enjoy long walks on the Brandon Beachy. @twynstagram

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