April 21, 2021

1. The Oakland A’s just won ten games in a row

To start the year, they were 1–7. And last night, after sweeping a double header, they’re 11–7. This kind of thing just doesn’t happen, even as weird as baseball can get.

And so, we’re either in the midst of some once-in-baseball-lifetime anomaly, or a staged sequel premise for Moneyball 2: Money Never Sleeps.

2. Tom Brady had the baseball tweet of the day

Salvy Perez, wearing a Tom Brady jersey during batting practice: “Patrick Mahomes, the best.”

The Royals: “Words speak louder than actions.”

And then — Tom Brady:

3. Javy Baez can’t stop striking out

It’s been awful just about every night, for the Cubs shortstop most people still think of as a star — and tonight, he put on the golden sombrero:

To make things worse, just before last season he turned down a $180 million extension. We’re rooting the guy, as mired in yikesdom as he is:

4. Two glorious home runs to watch: Abreu + Trout

5. Catch of the night (year?) — Billy McKinney

Move aside Mookie, move aside Arozarena. Maybe. But who really cares about ranking things? Just watch this and enjoy:

6. Yasiel Puig signed for a team in Mexico

It’s surprising, what happened to the guy’s career, and why not one last-place team would take a chance on him. But now, he has a chance at something new — to be a real-life Kenny Powers. Eastbound & Down, Cuban edition.

Off to Veracruz, Mexico he goes — the infamous, the iconic Yasiel Puig.

Happy trails:

7. Taijuan Walker was ejected right after he was pulled in the 4th inning

You hardly ever see this, an ump tossing a pitcher while he walks off the mound. The slo-mo is fantastic:

8. Here’s how you beat the shift — easy

It’s that thing you say, every time a team puts on a shift this extreme: “Why doesn’t the batter just… bunt it the other way? I don’t get it.”

And still now, you can’t make sense of why it’s so rare. But last night, at least for once, someone went and did it. Joey Gallo, making an RBI bunt hit look as easy as it could be:

9. It was a bizarre, great, wild night for Shohei Ohtani

There’s always something happening with this guy — and yesterday it was this: he gave up six walks and a HBP over four innings, yet allowing no runs.

10. Announcement — I’ve just started a Patreon account for The Baseball Newsletter

If you find value in these daily newsletters, I would love if you considered becoming an official patron. And in any case, hope you enjoy the read (more newsletter below).

11. Another day, another great Dylan Moore catch

One of many reasons, why the Mariners have suddenly become fun to watch again:

Here was two nights ago:

12. The Yankees break their losing streak

It was up to five games, and things were starting to get a bit loopy in New York:

But last night, they won. 6–10 on the year, with one more against the Braves at home, and then a road trip. The “Aaron Boone has to go talk” hushed and tucked away, if only for a day.

Yankees fans breathe a deep sigh and start spreading the news, once again:

13. Blunder of the day: the Texas Rangers outfield

Not an official error, but — yeesh:

14. Neil Walker announces his retirement

Many years with the Pirates, then with the Mets, and a nice little stint with the Yankees (among others). 19.6 career WAR, first-ballot induction into the Hall of Solid Enough.

15. Juan Soto heads to the 10-day IL

He’s batting .300 on the year so far, .870 OPS, 2 HRs. And the Nationals will need him back soon — sitting at 6–9, last place in the NL East.

16. Lastly: Today in old baseball — an inside-the-park HR in Hawaii

April, 1997. An actual MLB game in Hawaii, at Aloha Stadium. And Ron Gant hitting an inside-the-parker for the Cardinals:

If you’ve enjoyed this newsletter, send me a DM on Twitter! I’ll be doing them all year, to package the best highlights and stories from around the league — and to make baseball easier and quicker to follow.

Twitter: @bbletter



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