Now that the dust has settled on 2021 and Atlanta has emerged victorious from the rubble with a brand new World Series trophy, it’s time to look back and reflect. With an uncertain winter of labor negotiations and regurgitated Hall of Fame arguments on the horizon, let’s take one last look at some of the brightest moments and wildest bat flips from the 2021 MLB postseason, starting with the Wild Card and Division Series rounds.
435ft, 110.3 mph, 31° LA
AL Wild Card Game — NYY @ BOS
Kyle Schwarber struck hard this postseason, piling onto an early Red Sox lead in the AL Wild Card Game, one they would not relinquish. Amped at the prospect of demolishing a baseball in October to extend his team’s season, Schwarber strutted down the line, pumping his fist and shouting at his teammates in the home dugout. And it was demolished, too. Schwarber redirected 97.4 mph and added a dime for good measure, sending Cole’s fastball 435ft to right and just inside the foul line. With a heave of his bat, Schwarber sent Fenway into a frenzy, as he helped to pen a new chapter in the age-old rivalry.
387ft, 103.7 mph, 31° LA
ALDS Game Two — BOS @ TBR
Jordan Luplow brought the Trop to its feet with this monster grand slam against Chris Sale in ALDS Game Two, giving the Rays the lead and putting them up 5-2. Luplow went with the subtle stroll and drop as he watched his ball settle into the left-field seats just inside fair territory. It was a cold-blooded reaction following a cold-blooded swing, and Luplow played it to perfection as he stared blankly into the first base dugout before breaking into a trot down the line.
402ft, 103.8 mph, 25° LA
NLDS Game Three — MIL @ ATL
The leaves are changing colors, the smell of pumpkin-flavored coffee is in the air, and Joc Pederson is socking dingers. Joctober came back in full force this postseason, as the outfielder crushed two home runs in seven trips to the plate in the Division Series, including this missile in Game Three against Adrian Houser and the Brewers. He lasered Houser’s high heater over the fence in right field and then followed it up with one of the silkiest bat drops in Atlanta postseason history, backdropped by the thundering roar of the crowd. Powered by a now-legendary pearl necklace, Joc came through when it counted for Atlanta all postseason, true to his fabled playoff reputation built during his time with the Dodgers. Make it back-to-back rings for Pederson; a spooky Joctober, indeed.
448ft, 110.5 mph, 29° LA
NLDS Game Four — MIL @ ATL
In a series where many Brewers bats went silent when it mattered, Rowdy Tellez came through with a pair of key home runs. They weren’t wall-scrapers, either. Take this booming drive off of Huascar Ynoa in the deciding Game Four. At the time, it was a massive swing of both the bat and the game’s momentum as it broke the deadlock and put Milwaukee up 4-2. Tellez celebrated appropriately, flipping his bat end-over-end (and just out of frame) before jogging around the bases. It ultimately wasn’t enough to put the game out of reach, but it may have been a series-changing home run had the Brewers held on.
397ft, 106.6 mph, 35° LA
ALDS Game One — BOS @ TBR
Playoff Randy is back, and back with a vengeance, cracking homers and stealing runs left and right in the Division Series matchup with the Red Sox. In Game One, Arozarena picked up right where he left off in 2020 and crushed a deep home run on a mediocre fastball offering from Nick Pivetta. The baseball quickly found the seats in left field, traveling at a brisk 106.6 mph, and by the time it had landed the Rays had taken a 4-0 lead. Arozarena had no doubt it was gone off of the bat, and calmly watched it soar out before pointing down at the dirt under his feet, emphasizing that the Trop is his house. He then slung his bat away with a flick of his wrist and a couple of pounds of his chest. Oh, and if that wasn’t enough, he went on to do this just two innings later.
411ft, 109.3 mph, 25° LA
NLDS Game One — ATL @ MIL
Rowdy Tellez brought Milwaukee fans to their feet as he opened the NLDS with a bang, crushing a 109 mph bomb to center field off of Charlie Morton. The stadium lights started flickering almost before the ball touched down, while Tellez stood over 400 feet away at home plate, admiring his hard work. Tellez then shouted in the direction of his teammates before uncorking a sweet spiraling bat flip, sending his lumber spinning away towards the dugout. It was a charged moment and a classic bat flip, made even better by the rocking stadium and raucous Milwaukee crowd.
Miller Park American Family Field: Rowdy