July 19, 2021

1. Nationals Park had a shooting scare in the middle of a game

A very scary, chaotic scene for several minutes at Nats Park in the middle innings on Saturday night, when gun blasts were heard outside above the third-base line — seemingly from a drive-by shooting that people were fearing might be a random mass shooter event:

People ran for cover, no one knew what was happening, the game was called, and Padres players acted selflessly and heroically in the moment:

Everyone in the stadium was fine, thankfully, but a very touch-and-go situation for a while there in D.C.

2. In happier news, Nick Castellanos’ son got a sketch of his dad on official shirts in the Reds team store

Beyond awesome, and a great gesture by the Reds:

3. The error of the year happened yesterday in Pittsburgh

That’s saying a lot, given the insanity of what we’ve seen all season, but this has to be the one — a dribbler down the third-base line, an attempt by Taijuan Walker, the ball flying up into the air, everyone forgetting about it, and three runs scoring:

And here’s how it looked live, with the commentary from the Pirates broadcast crew:

The moment came in the very first inning after the gut-twisting grand slam walk-off the night before, that sent Metsworld into a nervous tailspin, with a sweep suddenly on the table, Lindor and deGrom going on the IL at the same time, as their tenuous grip on the NL East starts falling apart. Here’s that moment, from the night before:

So in the ninth, on Saturday, there was that — a pop fly becoming a grand slam, a two-run lead becoming a two-run walk-off loss. And the very next inning, early Sunday afternoon, there’s that error, the “oof” heard ’round the baseball world.

Until this. Until, somehow, a 7–6 Mets win. Pitching a scoreless game after that six-run first inning, and salvaging something out of a disaster weekend.

4. Updates from the MLB home run leaders

Vladdy with #31, and Ohtani with #34, as they both take huge leads over the rest of the league leaderboard.

5. The Cubs turned a very unlikely double play

Or, put another way, Kole Calhoun had a very awful blunder.

6. The Fernando Tatis Jr. highlights of the weekend

Sure, there was the whole saving people in terrified distress part, very very cool, but then he did a few things on the field, too:

And the wildest move of all, avoiding the tag at third base:

7. Yankee Stadium was a strange scene all weekend

First, there were the Yankees, struggling in general, losing a slew of key guys to the COVID protocols list, then losing the first of a three-game set against the Red Sox, with every part of everything looking dead in the water.

Then, in the middle of it all, a fan threw a ball at (or at least near) Alex Verdugo, and later would be banned for life from all 30 MLB ballparks:

Here’s the video of the moment he got tossed from Yankee Stadium, the guilty-looking kid with guilty-looking restless leg syndrome:

Chaotic weirdness on the field and in the stands, everything trending downward for the Yankees — but then.

They win the second game. And yesterday, they win again, 9–1. Only seven games back in the AL East, with a lot of baseball to play, a trade deadline coming up, things just maybe still happening for this most are-they-good-or-not team. And yet again yesterday, more weirdness:

Things, maybe, are looking up for the Yankees. With a four-game series at Fenway coming later this week.

8. The Orioles are launching an “unlimited pass” for August and September

This might be the best deal in baseball history. Access to every game for $40 a month. It might be time to pack up and move to Baltimore.

9. David Fletcher’s hit streak finally comes to an end

Twenty-six games in a row with a hit, and not just slap singles — he completely went off in some of those games, knocking doubles all over the park, and raising his numbers massively over the whole span:

So a great streak ends, but you know what they say:

10. And lastly, the quote of the day: Juan Soto

Going agains that old wives’ tale of Home Run Derbies ruining swings, there was Juan Soto chiming in yesterday, after hitting three home runs over the weekend:

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The Baseball Newsletter

The Baseball Newsletter

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