Wednesday was a great day of baseball. We saw a chaotic 13-inning game, a crazy, playoff-like Dodgers-Padres game, and much more. It was one of my favorite Wednesdays so far this season. Let’s check it out, shall we?
Chaos in Anaheim
The Giants and the Angels played a game that went 13 innings on Wednesday. It was played in Anaheim, so you might think it would have been normal. Well, you’re wrong.
As you know, the Angels forgo the DH when Shohei Ohtani is pitching. As they should. He’s an amazing hitter. But, they probably didn’t expect to go 13 innings on Wednesday. Hence, the chaos.
Of course, Ohtani was eventually replaced in the game. This meant Joe Maddon had to use some of his knowledge from his Cubs days to get through this game, making double switches and pinch-hitting for his pitchers. So, the Angels’ bench was already a little short after Ohtani was pulled before the 7th inning.
The 12th inning is where things got weird. Unfortunately, Kurt Suzuki was injured. And, since yesterday’s backup catcher, Max Stassi, had already pinch-hit for a pitcher in a prior inning (he was the game-winning run at the plate with only one out and couldn’t get it done in the 10th), this forced Taylor Ward, the Angels’ emergency catcher, to get in the squat. It also caused starting pitcher, Griffin Canning, to go play left field, since regular LF Justin Upton was scratched from the starting lineup with an injury.
Griffin Canning, a pitcher, is playing in left field.
Taylor Ward, who hasn’t caught a game since 2017, is now in at catcher. pic.twitter.com/szvVes8Vvu
— Brent Maguire (@bmags94) June 24, 2021
Joe Maddon had called Upton into the on-deck circle with the Angels threatening to walk it off against the Giants, but it turned out that Upton was only a decoy. Instead, Maddon sent Dylan Bundy to the plate with a chance to win the game. Spoiler alert: he did not.
Yeah. Things got weird. I will say, though, Taylor Ward held his own back there.
Only in baseball, right?
Now Scherzer Can Joke
On Tuesday, Max Scherzer had some issues with being checked for foreign substances. He wasn’t so upset when the check was initiated by the umpire, but he really took offense when it was initiated by Phillies’ manager Joe Girardi. That was entertaining, but a story for another time.
All you need to know is that Scherzer was… not happy.
— Andrew Perpetua (@AndrewPerpetua) June 23, 2021
Anyway, he decided to have some fun with it on Wednesday.
Scherzer wants the ump to check on Bryce Harper's hair
— MLB Foreign Substance Checks (@StickyCheck) June 23, 2021
Girardi wanted Scherzer checked because he was touching his hair too much. Scherzer, knowing as well as the rest of us that Bryce Harper has great hair, wanted his checked for that sticky stuff.
It was all love and smiles from the two former teammates, which is something that you love to see.
Manny Machado can do it all. He can especially do it with the glove.
We’ve seen him in some outrageous shifts before, but I think, personally, that this one takes the cake:
Max Muncy doubles into the right-field corner just out of the reach of third baseman Manny Machado's diving try. Baseball. pic.twitter.com/nOPxtXbp6B
— Chad Moriyama (@ChadMoriyama) June 24, 2021
I mean… what? I know he doesn’t make the play, but that doesn’t take away how absurd and beautiful this video is. Machado is a third baseman. THIRD! And he nearly made the play in right field!
That is just… not normal. If you showed this to someone not super familiar with baseball, they would be thoroughly confused. And I don’t blame them.
Coming after the ridiculous Machado play, this might seem a little silly. But that’s the whole point! Baseball is silly!
I told you the Giants-Angels game was weird. It was weird in every way imaginable. This is just funny:
he's a runner, he's a track star. pic.twitter.com/ekkVZ8CzAn
— Cut4 (@Cut4) June 23, 2021
Trust me when I say that Alex Dickerson is not the fastest guy on the field, basically ever. But that didn’t stop José Iglesias from making sure he got the out! The hustle? Awesome. But I’m partial to what he does after touching second.
He keeps running, at full speed, even after getting the force out. Is it one of those situations, like in track, where they keep running at full speed and slow down naturally as to not get hurt? Or was he just excited to get back in the dugout? Or was it to toss the ball in the stands?
Let your mind wander.
Yeah, this one was wild.
Yeah that game was nuts pic.twitter.com/UW5Z5nDqAN
— Talkin’ Baseball (@TalkinBaseball_) June 23, 2021
A Josh Bell go-ahead grand slam. A crazy win probability chart.
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) June 23, 2021
Honestly, words can’t do this justice. Go watch some highlights, it’s worth it.
What a great, fantastically weird day of baseball. But those are the best, aren’t they? Have a great Thursday.