Baseball is played in the real world, and while that means the high points can mark the chapters of our lives in indelible ways it means the game is also subject to the predations of the worst parts of that world. We saw this last night in Washington as the game was suspended in the sixth inning due to a shooting that occurred right outside of the stadium. I am not going to post any of the video or audio of the event occurring; it was very scary to watch it live. But we’ve all heard that cliche that the worst situations bring out the best in people and I want to focus on the (baseball) examples of that from DC:
Here at Nats Park as fans are making their way out of the stadium.
Talked to a fan who said the spectators in section 112-113 ducked down when they heard gunshots and everyone followed suit. Tatis and Machado opened the gate to the field and took fans to the dugout. pic.twitter.com/HM70l0tgDQ
— Andrew Golden (@andrewcgolden) July 18, 2021
Terrifying moments. True colors. pic.twitter.com/VjvSQFQP4o
— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 18, 2021
Davey Martinez ended up picking up a customer service call during a rain delay last month which was a nice feel-good silly story, but seeing him along with Manny Machado and Fernando Tatis Jr.(and I’m sure many others whose names we don’t know) spring into action to try and protect fans last night is one bright spot we can take from the whole wretched ordeal.
Pitchers Are Weird
Pitchers are absolute weirdos at best. This isn’t news, we feature them regularly in these articles because they’re constantly doing something bizarre either on the mound or right before they run out to it. Yet even among that fraternity of weirdos there are some guys that stick out, and boy is James Karinchak one of them:
Yup, that’s him just…pretending to throw. Alone, in the bullpen. In the first inning while the game is actively occurring on the field next to him. This is, after all, the same dude who Dallas Braden tells us showed up to training camp with a plastic gas container as his water bottle.
Hey, sure, James. You do you.
Hit And Run
You never want to make an out on the basepaths, especially not the third out. But you especially never want to make the third out literally on the basepaths:
I’ve gotten to write about this type of out before, and it must not be as rare as my brain thinks it is, but I still find myself totally enraptured whenever it happens. There’s so much field to hit a ball to! The runner is moving! The fact that they still somehow find each other? Ridiculous.
My father was inexplicably a big Phil Coke fan when he was with the Yankees which maybe re-tuned my antennae because I feel like I see references to him entirely too often given his career numbers and the Tigers official Twitter account isn’t helping:
Phil Coke willed us to a win. pic.twitter.com/EcW0KnN1C1
— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) July 18, 2021
I’m not sure what is going on with the audio in that clip, but man Phil is into it. And the Tigers did sweep both ends of their doubleheader so there’s no arguing with the efficacy.
Better Late Than Never
Kwang Hyun Kim already had over 100 innings pitched for the Cardinals going into last night’s game, his 24th start for the team. But last night wasn’t just another trip to the mound for the St. Louis starter:
KK's family is in the 🏠
For the first time in his MLB and Cardinal career, they're getting to watch him pitch in person! pic.twitter.com/lrsAHS2XUe
— St. Louis Cardinals (@Cardinals) July 17, 2021
I would imagine that the Kim family has been watching his appearances on TV with some interest for the last year and change, but getting to see Kwang Hyun pitch six scoreless and pick up the win in person must have been pretty nice, too.
It Takes A Village
The weather in NYC has been bad for a bit now, between the 90+ degree humid days and the random thunderstorms that never seem to really help with the temperature or the humidity. These unfortunate truths extend to The Bronx as well, where the Yankees and Red Sox played a soggy, rain-shortened affair last night which featured this flurry of activity from the entire grounds crew to get the mound ready for Gerrit Cole:
While it’s not as good as the time that Zack Greinke took a seat on the grass while the crew rebuilt part of the mound for him, I can also understand why Gerrit wasn’t keen to put his butt on the infield last night.
Lance Lynn has the nickname of Trash Bear in at least a few spots around the internet for his general scruffiness and demeanor, but he’s definitely not the only guy who could have earned that moniker in the game right now, and one of the others is in Anaheim:
Taking a foul ball (or even a pitch in certain cases) to the face and just walking it off has a somewhat storied history in the game, but what made Jared Walsh’s turn at it last night was his vehement waving off of Joe Maddon and the training staff (seemingly to Maddon’s delight):
As you prepare for the coming week, take Jared’s perseverance to heart, while maybe trying to avoid the whole baseball to the face part of the story.
Featured image by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)