July 20, 2021
1. Jon Lester launched a 419-foot home run last night
The whole team definitely ate their Wheaties in the morning, with the Nationals winning it 18–1. And Jon Lester, of all people, leading the charge:
Here’s the quick-edit compilation of all 18 runs:
2. The Mets won yet another chaotic game
Down 3–0 in the first inning after an awful trio of errors by Luis Guillorme, replacing an injured Francisco Lindor at shortstop — the day after that first-inning collapse in Pittsburgh, with Taijuan Walker’s three-run error, in a game they somehow came back and won.
And so, with all that, still they found a way. A game that went eleven innings, and ending in the Mets’ favor, 15–11.
Their record keeps staying around mediocre. DeGrom is on the IL again. Lindor is on the IL. But they just. Somehow. Keep. Finding a way.
Oh and check this out, one of the key hits in extra innings was a double hit off the bat, from James McCann. Look closely, pretty wild:
3. Shohei Ohtani pitched a gem in Oakland, but lost
His first appearance on the mound since the All-Star Game, and he pitched six scoreless innings, just three hits allowed, eight strikeouts.
And then, Joe Maddon had him go out and play left field, too:
4. That Angels vs. A’s game ended with a brilliant catch by Matt Chapman
5. Highlights from the world of bad umpiring
A classic three-inches-inside fastball called for a strike:
And then, something you might have never seen before — an umpire sliding into third base, disrupting the entire play.
6. The Dodgers call up their top pitching prospect, Josiah Gray
Their #2 overall prospect, and #42 on the “MLB top 100” list, and it looks like he’ll debut tonight at Dodger Stadium, against the first-place Giants.
7. Stat of the day: From the Dodgers and Giants rivalry
Not that this newsletter or any of you reading likely even noticed, when it happened last night or even when the acquisition was made, but hey — obscure, oddly historic baseball stats are the gift that keeps on giving, no?
Here’s a new story about the pick-up last week, if your interest is so piqued:
8. The Red Sox bopped around in Buffalo and won in a blowout
They hang on to their lead in the stacked AL East for another night, 1.5 games over the Rays and up 7.0 games over the Blue Jays now.
Simply dominating up in Buffalo:
Six home runs in all, a 13–4 win, and they just keep rolling along.
9. Johnny Bench was great in the Reds’ booth last night
Maybe the best catcher of all time, just stopping by to chat and entertain:
And calling a home run the instant it’s hit:
10. Matt Olson might have the coolest swing in baseball
The guy holds the bat like a lumberjack with an axe, a swordsman, some other formidable, impressive comparison this newsletter can’t think of at the moment — holding it up vertically right above the strike zone, and sweeping through it as he connects, and sends one into the seats.
No one else swings it quite like this:
11. A nice piece from Bill Plaschke about Vin Scully
12. Lastly, Gavin Sheets had an incredible walk-off HR
At home, in Chicago. The Sox down a run. Having lost the earlier game of the doubleheader that afternoon. A 3–1 count, two on, and thwack!
Into the seats for a three-run winner.