We may be only three games into season, but it’s never too early for late-game heroics. And we had them in spades Wednesday night. But which was the most fun? Well, we’ve narrowed it down to three options:
- Sandy LeA?n’s three-run walk-off HR.
- Francisco Lindor’s ninth-inning grand slam.
- George Springer’s three-run walk-off HR.
It should be noted that LeA?n’s team, the Boston Red Sox, were the only side not trailinga��of the three mentioned abovea��at the time of said heroics. Unfortunately for him, that docks the coolness level ever so slightly. Don’t get me wrong: a walk-off dinger is a walk-off dinger. But it wasn’t a do or die scenario. Had he come up short, the baseball game would have continued. The same cannot be said of our next two players.
Still, these moments are never not fun. Except for the team on the other side, I suppose:
I’m going to assume Antonio Bastardo didn’t mean to groove a 92 MPH fastball down the middle of the plate. Moving on…
What’s not to love about Francisco Lindor? He’s one of the premiere young talents in the game. His smile is infectious. And, along with his stellar defensive work, Lindor has developed somewhat of a power stroke at the Major League level. After slapping just 21 long balls over 1,880 plate appearances in the minors, the Cleveland shortstop already has 29 dingers in the majors. This time, with 744 less plate appearances. Or, roughly a little more than a full season’s worth.
That power stroke was on full display against the Texas Rangers Wednesday night, with not one, but two dingersa��the second of which ultimately sealed the contest:
Now this wasn’t your ultimate grand slam, of course. This wasn’t a walk-off situation where Cleveland was trailing by three runs, no. Rather, this was simply a case of a young superstar atoning for an earlier mistake. With one out and the bases loaded, most teams would feel pretty good about their chances of getting the tying run across the plate. It becomes a whole other ballgame when dealing with someone of Lindor’s caliber.
On the flip side: Rangers closer Sam Dysona��for now, anywaya��is well on his way to being stripped of that title. He’s appeared twice this season, blowing two saves and completing only one inning while surrendering seven hits and eight runs. All earned. Admittedly, this is an extremely small sample size. But also, maybe it wouldn’t be the worst idea to insert him into a different type of role for now. It’s a long season and every team is going to lose a bunch. Still, it’s another thing entirely to fall into the habit of just giving games away.
Go back and look at that pitch location again. (Unless you’re a Rangers fan). And finally…
Not a bad start for arguably the most complete lineup in the American League, ey?
Down to their final strike twice in the bottom of the 13th, the Astros just wouldn’t go away. And the ultimate pesta��for Mariners fans, at leasta��was George Springer. You know, the 11th overall pick from the 2011 draft. There are arguments to be made that Springer is one of the more underrated outfielders in baseball. He got off to a a�?latea�? start in the majors (at 24 years old). And the old school stat heads won’t be fond of his career batting average (.259). But, Springer gets on base plenty (.356) and hits for power.
Additionally, that power seems to be progressing. Springer burst onto the scene in ’14 with 20 dingers in just 78 games. Injuries limited him to just 102 games the following season, and his power numbers (16 HR) suffered ever so slightly. Then last year he slugged 29 while playing in every game that season. This year, he’s already got two to his name. It’s fun to imagine a scenario in which Springer is just the third-best hitter on his team. Yet in Houston, that’s the reality.
Maybe it won’t be by the end of the campaign. And if Springer keeps doing this, who’s going to care?
Again, grooving a pitching down Main Streeta��this time a breaking balla��seems sub-optimal. But don’t take my word for it; I’m just some stupid idiot.
What was your favorite moment of last night’s MLB action?