Mlb 2018 james paxton throwing a no-hitter, cody bellinger bunting, and shohei ohtani being amazing – sbnation.com c gastronomie vitam

Yes, well, there were several cool and dumb baseball things this week, just as there are every week. Our job is to collect the coolest and the dumbest, while forgetting or overlooking several along the way. Come, join us for a trip around baseball, and remember that we’ll always start by remembering that … Baseball is good, actually

There are some of you who will accuse me of bias in this section, and I can understand that. However, allow me to state my case deliberately. Baseball is good because the Cincinnati Reds can sweep the Los Angeles Dodgers in four games at Dodger Stadium.

Note the verbiage: Baseball is good because the Reds can sweep the Dodgers, not because they did. Did you know that my entire essay for the Baseball Prospectus 2018 Annual was based on the idea that the Dodgers weren’t going to be bad again for another 30 years? If they’re bad, I’ll look dumb immediately. All I usually ask is that if I have to look dumb, that I look dumb several years down the road, so the Reds waltzing into Dodger Stadium and leaving with a four-game sweep makes me extremely uncomfortable.

However, the Reds — a team that is eternally this close to signing Paul Byrd and putting him right into the rotation — can sweep an expensive super team, even if that super team is absolutely reeling from injuries and scuffling. How badly are the Dodgers scuffling? To give one example, they can lose four consecutive games to the Reds at home.

So baseball is good, actually, because we’re forever reminded that it doesn’t care about our preseason predictions. It doesn’t care about what we’re expecting before a series starts. The last time the Reds swept a series against the Dodgers on the road, their starting infield was Rose-Concepcion-Morgan-Perez, while the Dodgers’ was Cey/Russell/Lopes/Garvey. It’s extraordinarily rare even when the teams are on equal footing. Except the Reds and Dodgers most certainly should not be on equal footing.

Baseball is good because Pat Venditte is in the major leagues again. There isn’t a proper analog for Venditte in any other sport, and there won’t be until there’s a quarterback who can drop back and throw with either arm to confuse defenses. Baseball is unquestionably better with Venditte in it. I mean, the man makes a GIF of “baseball player puts on glove” interesting.

That brought up Josh Donaldson, who had watched the previous at-bat and had an idea that a fastball might be coming. Paxton threw a 98-mph fastball, and Donaldson waved at it. That made three straight fastballs that major league hitters couldn’t even make contact with.

Mike Zunino wants to throw something off-speed, apparently. Silly catcher. Paxton shakes him off because he’s never had a fastball like this, and he can feel the electricity coursing through his veins. He wants the heat. Nobody can touch it, nobody.

Except Josh Donaldson is a smart baseball player, and when he sees a pitcher shake off a sign in that situation, it’s as if he tipped a pitch. Donaldson is no stranger to machismo, so he figured that he would get a fastball as hard as Paxton could throw it. And he murdered that fastball.

Right into the defense. As far as no-hitters go, this was the perfect example in an isolated at-bat. The pitcher was great, which is why the no-hitter happened. The pitcher was lucky when it came to specific decisions and plays, which is why all no-hitters happen. Neither Roger Clemens or Greg Maddux threw a no-hitter because they didn’t get that last essential piece, where they made the wrong decision, and it worked out anyway.

James Paxton threw a no-hitter, and the last batter of the game was absolutely ready to ruin it. There will be more no-hitters, apparently, but I’m not sure if there will be another one that ends with a metonymy of the whole no-hitter experience.

I had someone email me to complain that I’m paying too much attention to Shohei Ohtani. His argument was that Ronald Acuña is better. Imagine being that guy. Imagine being so tethered to the tribalism of sports that you needed a defensive stance against something as pure and remarkable as Ohtani.

Ohtani had a two-game stretch of weirdness filled with blisters and general ineffectiveness, but he bounced back with his fifth start of the year against the Mariners. In his latest start, he went against the free-swinging Twins. How did it go?

Yes, yes, yes, Ohtani did actually rip a double and a homer this week, so we don’t need to focus on batting practice. But I’m not sure if you’re appreciating just how far that ball went. That’s the right-center gap. Even if we’re talking about Coors Field, baseballs should not go there. And I’m absolutely desperate to see video of that home run, even if it certainly doesn’t exist.

It would take a couple of cameras. You’re probably paying the people already. Have them set up, then take a smoke break for two hours. Done. Our reward is that we won’t have to guess and imagineer our way into appreciating the most absurd and majestic home runs that baseball has to offer.

The whole video is worthwhile, of course, especially if you’re interested in underpaid minor-league employees chasing a gigantic snake with a rake and a bucket. Mostly, I like the GIF, which makes it look like the snake is sneaking down to better seats at the end of a blowout. Go get yours, snake. Take what’s rightfully yours.

At first, I was annoyed because I like bat flips and staredowns. The more I think about it, though, it’s kind of brilliant. Do you want to avoid your own players getting hit in the butt or head with baseballs? Preempt the unwritten rules. When a manager says, “Sorry, our bad, we’re taking care of it,” it diffuses the whole thing, even if you secretly appreciate that your player walloped a ball to Wyoming and stared at it like he was the first person to hit a ball farther than 40 feet.

First, it’s impossible for a human being to expel flatulence with enough force to move his body. The average adult male is between 150 to 200 pounds, which means it would take unimaginable force. Somebody actually did the research on this, and for a fart to move a human body, it would have to be traveling at 37.6 million MPH, which is almost one-fifth the speed of light. Come on. That’s not even remotely possible.

Third, the caption supplied by Getty was “ Toronto Blue Jays third base Josh Donaldson (20) is brushed closely by a wild pitch and dives backwards,” which pretty much closes the case on this dumb, manufactured controversy. This was a picture taken during a normal baseball play and not … what you’re suggesting.

OK, OK, OK, get the LOL Mets out of your system. It’s funny, if only because we’re so used to teams or players looking like bozos because they screw up on the field, and this gives us a chance to laugh at a bureaucratic error, which is an entirely different genre.

But take this opportunity to reflect back on all the out-of-turn moments in baseball history. The big discovery here is that teams batted out of order allllllll the time in the ‘20s. Here is a list of players mentioned in stories about teams in the 1920s batting out of order:

Pretty much. What my analysis missed, though, is that it would be extremely funny if Harvey were excellent again, just to spite the Mets. He looked good in his Reds debut, and I am absolutely welcoming of an unrealistic renaissance. Maybe he’s found his niche.

For Sosa, though? Just a guy having a nice season, on pace for 31 homers. Every week I do this, and every week I wait for the inevitable breakout from Sosa. At some point, he goes bonkers, and I’m overflowing with anticipation for this bonkersisity And it never seems to arrive.