Obviously the biggest story in the realm of the Toronto Blue Jays is that of First Baseman Chris Colabello. In case you somehow haven’t heard the news, yesterday it was announced that Colabello would be suspended for 80 games – 1 game less than half the season – after testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. There’s plenty of articles out there about it if you want to do some further learning, but I’d like to take a look at some of the other big moments from around the league this week – there have been some interesting ones.
Why not start with one that happened to our Blue Jays?
It’s been perhaps a slower start to the season than most fans were hoping for following the late-season heroics the team put up last year, but it’s incredibly early yet. Today, they snapped a 3-game slide with a 9-3 win in which Josh Donaldson socked his 7th dinger of the season. While I doubt it will happen, that puts him on pace for 60 home runs this year. Anyway, in the the middle game of those 3 losses, Thursday night against the Baltimore Orioles, Donaldson went to make what would normally be a pretty routine play for him at third base… except this time it wasn’t.
Yep, the ball went right through Donaldson’s glove. While that’s not the first time I’ve seen it happen, it is a pretty rare occurrence… But us Jays fans, I’m sure, have become accustomed to the left side infielders having issues with their gloves… I mean Troy Tulowitzki is still using that ancient glove we saw him have issues with last post season…
That same night, however, that play was overshadowed by a team who had no equipment failures and made no mistakes. Over in the National League, the Chicago Cubs hammered the Cincinnati Reds 16-0. A shutout is a big enough deal, but starter Jake Arrieta threw an incredible game, and was awarded with a NO HITTER!
Here’s the final pitch from the game:
What’s most impressive is the fact that it’s the second no-no Arrieta has thrown, with the first coming just 10 starts prior back on August 30th 2015. For something that has only been done 295 times in Major League Baseball since 1876, yeah, that’s pretty damn impressive. Arrieta has been quite solid over his last 24 starts, with the only loss coming in a game where the Cubs themselves were victims of a no-hitter.
Jake Arrieta has been absolutely dominant in the last 24 starts. His only loss came when his team was no-hit. pic.twitter.com/YpBKdF8uhx
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 22, 2016
His teammates stepped up their game to give him some serious run support to, with 5 home runs hit in the game.
And what might be the funniest part of all this was that a Cubs fan ran on the field right after the final pitch to celebrate with the team, before being quickly arrested.
Among the other odd plays around the league this week was a Triple Play that the Chicago White Sox turned. Now Triple Plays are often credited to solid defensive play by the team on the field. Sometimes, very rarely, a player can turn a triple play on their own. Troy Tulowitzki is one such player, the 13th of only 15 to ever achieve that feat, back in 2007 when he was playing with the Rockies.
The one the Sox pulled was a little more complicated than that lucky play Tulo pulled. And it wasn’t the solid defending that got the Rangers into trouble, but pretty poor baserunning. Watch the White Sox pull a 9-3-2-6-2-5 Triple Play!
As complicated as it was, the Sox managed to record all three outs of the inning on that single play, but it wouldn’t have happened that way if not for a strong throw in from right fielder Adam Eaton. Speaking of strong throws from right field, Los Angeles Dodgers right fielder Yasiel Puig had one of those last night. In fact, I would venture to say that if you looked up the definition of a perfect throw from the outfield, this would come up:
All I can say is WOW. It looks like Puig had a bead on the ball and actually came pretty close to making the play at the wall. When he didn’t, though, he made up for it by firing that ball all the way to third. No cutoff man. No bounce. Just a friggin’ cannon!
A Grand Slam isn’t all that uncommon (one of the home runs hit by the Cubs in Arrieta’s no-hitter was a grand slam, for example). A GranderSlam (a Grand Slam hit by Curtis Granderson) is a little more rare. He hit two homers last night, and one of them was with the bases loaded. Check out this GranderSlam!
And just one more weird/awesome play from this week.
How often have you seen someone steal a base? It happens pretty regularly… The thing is, usually it’s second or third that gets stolen, not home plate. Not unless you’re Jacoby Ellsbury.
That’s not even the first time Ellsbury has stolen home, either. He also did it back in April 2009, AGAINST his Yankees, as he was a member of the Red Sox.
So there you go, a little round up of some of the more interesting things that have happened around baseball in the last week, and some great examples of why baseball can be so exciting to watch.