Clayton Kershaw helped himself cement the W with an at bat for the ages. At the end of the game he said “there was no way I was going to hit off Darvish. I was just trying to be a pest.” And what an at bat it was with bases loaded Kershaw got the walk on a pitch that was just off the plate. Up until that point Darvish had been pitching the game of his life. He had a perfect going until he hit Mckinstry on the left foot. It sort of looked like Mckinstry did a little soccer move to sort of make sure that ball got him on the instep as opposed to the top of the toe. Not sure if any soccer players or soccer fans saw that. He definitely lifted his toes in an awkward way. Most would have slid the back foot out od the way. Mckinstry kept his foot there knowing it might him. Either way, that pitched ended the bid for a perfect game. On top of that he had put up a pretty decent at bat which probably through off Yu. The very next batter was Raley and he came through with a single to end the bid for a NO NO. After Barnes walked in came Kershaw to put up an impressive at bat. He got a few good rips in there but ultimately got the walk. And what is up with that Juan Soto crouch with two strikes? Did you catch that? I like it. He seems to shorten the stroke. He did the same thing in the first at bat and he hit a liner right into Machado’s glove.
The other noticeable thing I picked up on this game was Profar’s super late swing. The ball was already by him when he decided “oh shit I should probably swing.” And if that is not the most awkward swing I don’t know what is. He seemed to have a delayed swing that clipped Barnes’ glove. The problem is that the ball was already in the glove a split second before. Imagine this, what if we waited a full second for the catcher to catch the ball. You already know where the glove is going to be. If you just wait on your swing long enough you can actually hit the glove pretty flush. Much easier to hit a catcher’s glove than it is to hit a Kershaw fastball. Let’s just say this: Profar did not attempt to hit the catcher’s glove on purpose. However, Kershaw made that swing look so awful that it looked like your only chance to get on base was to actually hit Barnes’ glove. That’s what happened. That rule should be checked and revised before other players begin to make it a habit. Should “if a catcher’s glove is batted after the ball is caught, you are going into a penalty box for 2 innings.” With all the new rules being implemented I have a chance of getting this one pushed through. “Penalty Box! Penalty Box!” Can I get a chant? Oh well, I tried.
Finally, what about that Mookie catch? OMG! WTF! GTFOH! What a way to end the game. I am sitting there thinking, “bottom of the 9th, the Dodgers just ripped the heart out of the Padres last night, 2 outs runners in scoring position, Grisham is the tying run, Pham who has some power can just walk it off with a home run or the very least tie it with a hit, and then he slaps a what looked to be a certain 2 out single…but wait! Look up at the sky, it’s a plane! No! It’s bird! No! It’s Mookie Betts! Tata tata tata!” With a cape and all. Came flying into the picture and I wasn’t even sure he had caught it but I celebrated with Mookie Betts anyway. The replay confirmed it. Jerry Hairston confirmed it. Game over! What a way to close a game. Walk off home runs are cool but defensive plays are cooler! LFG!
Thanks for reading this far. If you like puzzles, try to see how long it takes you to put together this Mookie Bett’s diving catch puzzle. Have fun. Mookie Puzzle click here.