Last week was a rollercoaster of emotion, with huge moments and heartbreaking injuries. This week’s Best Bat Flip roundup features a crop of short but sweet celebrations, with a few monster swings sprinkled in. If you like scorching home runs and swaggering walks down to first, this is the week for you. Let’s get to it!
7/5/2021 — WSH @ SD
412ft, 106.9 mph, 24° LA
In a battle of names with minimal syllables, Josh Bell overcame Tim Hill with this go-ahead laser out to left field last Monday. It came as both teams were deadlocked in a 5-5 tie heading into the late innings before Bell turned on and demolished a back-foot slider that caught a bit too much of the plate. Seeing it was gone off the bat, Bell then trotted backward for his first few steps up the line, before tossing the bat to the ground. The result was a pretty satisfying flip, as the bat seemed to hang in the air for a few moments before eventually coming to rest on top of the plate.
Je nais se quois: 8
5. Jared Walsh vs. Eduardo Rodríguez
Jared Walsh has been an unsuspecting source of bat flip joy throughout the first half of the season, as he’s been a part of key moment after key moment for the otherwise floundering Angels squad. Walsh teed off here, going back to back with Shohei Ohtani off of Boston’s Eduardo Rodríguez in the third. Walsh absolutely tattooed a 1-2 slider here, sending it deep onto the grassy hill beyond the center field fence. He then rattled off a classic flip out of his backswing, sending it tumbling away into foul territory.
7/7/2021 — PHI @ CHC
394ft, 104.9 mph, 28° LA
Andrew McCutchen made it look easy as he let loose with this sweet bat twirl after unloading on a first-pitch “fastball” from Alec Mills. It was a deep drive to left, and Cutch celebrated with a disgusting toss in front of the plate. The Phillies might still have been down 5-3 when McCutchen touched home, but the shot also plated the team’s last two runs of the game, which was worth celebrating.
7/3/2021 — SF @ ARI
463ft, 106.6 mph, 29° LA
Austin Slater got a two-strike meatball from Ryan Buchter in a key situation, and he didn’t miss it. Down a run and with one on in the top of the eighth, Slater was gifted this nothing pitch, and absolutely clobbered it onto the center field concourse. Buchter’s reaction pretty much tells the story here, as he drops to his knees in defeat almost immediately. A shame, as he then missed Slater flipping his bat end over end in a smooth celebration.
Rotation: Out of Frame
Pitch-to-squat time: 1.17 seconds
2. Ronald Acuña Jr. vs. Will Crowe
7/7/2021 — ATL @ PIT
444ft, 110.1 mph, 25° LA
Ronald Acuña Jr. was tearing the cover off of the ball last week, as he bombed this pitch from Will Crowe to cut Atlanta’s deficit to a single run. At this point in his career, Acuña already has his celebrations down pat, uncorking a sweet bat flip to pair with what has become his signature post-homer arm… thing? I’m honestly not entirely sure what to call that. It reminds me of Henry Cavill ‘reloading’ his arms in Mission Impossible, so that’s what I’m going to go with. Acuña reloads the guns and slaps his chest before heading off to circle the bases, while that baseball finds its new home in the asteroid belt.
Rotation: 540° flat spin
7/4/2021 — MIA @ ATL
385ft, 103.2 mph, 30° LA
It’s a real shame that Ronald Acuña Jr. got hurt last week. Beyond just being one of the hardest working and most talented players in baseball, Acuña was also one of the most dynamic and entertaining. Case in point: this righteous bat flip against the Marlins’ Zach Thompson last weekend. For most players around the league, this would be a standout moment in a tight game, with an electrifying celebration to match. But for Acuña, it was just a Sunday. He makes the incredible look downright routine, from his triple-digit homers to his superb speed around the bases. Baseball is much better with him healthy, and we hope to see him back soon.
Photo by Dustin Ian D’Andrea/Flickr | Adapted by Doug Carlin (@Bdougals on Twitter)