.gifs From Last Night: Bourn To Be Derp

Tigers vs. Indians

  • Oh we’ve totally seen this before. Slugger drives one to the warning track. CF wanders over. Ball bounces off CF and into seats for a home run. All center fielders deal with the shame in different ways. Some freak out, some laugh, some cry. Michael Bourn does all three and more:

“Wait. What? No. No. No.”

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.gifs From Last Night: Silly Mike Baxter

Mets-Phillies

  • Good thing the Mets have two other all-star level outfielders to make up for plays like this…
  • To be fair, if there was a giant rawhide sphere barreling through the air in my direction, I would get the hell out of the way too.
  • That’s a lot of advertising concentrated in one specific corner of Citi Field. I count 5. Do you?
  • I like how Baxter turns and is briefly immersed in the possibilities of freecreditscore.com before he realizes the ball is about to drop.
  • It also looks like baseball Jesus just dropped the ball out of the sky because the trajectory of the ball looks like something from Angels in the Outfield.
  • Is that trash on the warning track? Get your shit together, Citi Field.

.gifs From Last Night: Unorthodox Deliveries

Angels-Mariners

Last night in Seattle, Carlos Peguero hit a ball 450 feet to dead center. Somehow, this wasn’t the most extraordinary thing that happened at Safeco that evening. In one fell swoop, Angels right-hander (left-hander?) Garrett Richards revolutionized the art of pitching.

In the potentially groundbreaking .gif above, we see Mariners designated “hitter” Justin Smoak making his way to the plate. Is he trying to gain momentum by running towards the plate a la Happy Gilmore or is something even deeper going on here?

For whatever reason, Richards begins slightly offset to the left of the mound. His delivery begins with the ball in his glove, as most deliveries do. However, Richards has the glove raised and pointing towards first base. He drops his glove cautiously as if he’s catching a very delicate egg, and proceeds to whip his arm around  and release the ball with stunning accuracy. This motion clearly does not allow Richards to take advantage of about 93% of his body, as his right side is just along for the ride and doesn’t play much part in delivering the ball to the catcher. There is an unusual amount of movement in the lower half that includes several steps backward to help Richards make sure he’s still on the rubber. Let’s slow it down.

This .gif allows us to see the incredible conclusion of this play. Smoak, in all his glory, turns on the circus pitch and rips it right back to the pitcher. Richards, who is already pointing at the plate as if he’s prepared for a comebacker, snags the ball with his bare hand. The sheer velocity of the ball propels him backwards, returning him back to a more familiar position at the top of the mound.

Mechanics Report Card

richards chart

We’re gonna keep an eye out for this mystery of a motion throughout the season, but we doubt we’ll see it again any time soon. For one wondrous moment, Garrett Richards changed baseball. We hope it’s not the last time.

.gifs From Last Night: Yu Darvish Breaks Mike Trout

Rangers-Angels

  • First of all, lol.
  • I’m legitimately unsure how this pitch is even possible coming from a someone that isn’t a bad high school pitcher or Barry Zito by accident.
  • Watch the guy second from the left of the chyron in the black jacket and black hat. As he sees the pitch drop into Pierzynski’s glove, he turns away slightly as if he just witnessed something literally disgusting.
  • The umpire clearly took immense pleasure in ringing Trout up on a pitch that looks frighteningly similar to Bugs Bunny’s trickery.

Stay tuned for more Darvish .gifs. Later today, I’ll examine his most vicious attacks on two unfortunate Japanese hitters.

.gifs From Last Night: The Multitasking Panda

Diamondbacks-Giants

  • If you were one of the few who didn’t think Sandoval belonged in the circus, you sure do now.
  • Pablo’s thought process: “Okay dive! alright sweet, got the ball, should probably throw it to first but hold on I gotta blow a bubble real quick…okay got that out of the way, guess I’ll go for the out now”
  • Just the fact that Pablo can hit the ground without bouncing back up is a fair tribute to human innovation.
  • That’s a lot of BIG league chew. Get it? Big. Because he’s big.
  • I love how every baseball player checks that the ball is in the glove before they throw. I guess it’s understandable, I mean you never know what else could get in there.