Tulo Tricks Photographer Into Thinking He’s A Pitcher

Baseball is officially BACK!

Pitchers and Catchers reported to Spring Training last week, which gave a slight quench of the baseball thirst that has been mounting since the season ended last year. The offseason beforehand was even more entertaining than years past (mostly aided by my Marlins’ firesale.) But now, the full rosters have reported to their Arizona and Florida homes of the next month and BASEBALL IS BACK.

Admittedly, Baseball is not the most entertaining sport to the naked eye. The game moves slowly at times and there isn’t the instant gratification that is present in the nation’s other sports, such as Basketball, Football, and Hockey. Personally, I believe that Baseball is the best game of all, followed closely by Soccer. But then again, I may just be a boring old soul. To others, however, who don’t understand the inner workings of the world’s most in-depth mental game, Baseball relies on two things to reach the common fan…superstitions and shenanigans, which brings us to the title.

Tulo, the Comedian.

Yesterday, while taking Toronto Blue Jays team pictures, Troy Tulowitzki tricked the team photographer into thinking that he was a pitcher. “Why is this so funny,” you might ask? Well, first of all, Tulo is a Shortstop and has been his whole career. I understand that it’s Spring Training, which means young new players, so the photographer wouldn’t know their position, but come on…this is Tulo. Also, apparently the photographer assumed that he was a pitcher. It wasn’t like Tulo initiated the prank, he just saw an opening and took it.

Tulo is 6’3″ and weighs about 205 lbs, which doesn’t scream pitcher. Most pitchers are a little taller and lankier. It’s not the rule, but Tulo’s body type doesn’t scream pitcher, either. He also wears #2, which unless I’m missing someone, isn’t worn by any pitcher in the MLB. There’s only one player off of the top of my head that breaks both of these pitching stereotypes, and it’s Tulo’s teammate, Marcus Stroman, who’s only 5’9″ and wears #6.

Regardless of what the photographer is thinking here, its hilarious stuff, and the perfect way to get back into the lightheartedness of Spring Training.

Speaking of lightheartedness, here’s the best MLB Gif of all time:

Welcome back, Baseball. And, as always, RIP Jose.

RIP Roy “Doc” Halladay

Damn man, this sucks. It seems like every time you turn around another MLB pitcher is dying in a tragic accident. First Jose Fernandez, then Yordano Ventura, and now Doc. Of course, the first two guys were in the beginnings of what were undoubtedly going to be fantastic careers and Halladay’s career had already ended, but 40 is way too young to go…especially in a fatal accident such as a plane crash.

Growing up, Roy Halladay was one of those pitchers that I loved to hate. Derek Jeter was always my favorite player and the Marlins were my favorite team, so to see Doc slice and dice my boys all the time really got to me. I viewed him kind of like I did Kobe…respected the hell out of his craft, but just couldn’t bring myself to pull for him. And then he retired, and I, like every other true baseball fan, raised my glass to a great player. I was glad to see him retire. I was glad that he wouldn’t be a pain in the Marlins’ side any longer. But I was also glad to witness the greatness of his career.

Roy Halladay’s career was one that will always be remembered. It included a Cy Young award in both the American (for the Blue Jays) and National (for the Phillies) Leagues, a Perfect Game against the Marlins in 2010, and a playoff no-hitter that same year against the Reds. Doc finished his career with a 203-105 record, a 3.38 ERA, and 2,117 strikeouts. Amid his ridiculous career achievements, Doc also was a man of the people off of the field, where he was nominated for the Roberto Clemente award multiple times and just seemed to be an all-around great guy.

So tonight, I encourage everyone to cheers to Doc, put in MLB 2k11, and K up some batters with that legendary Split-Change in honor of the all-time great. RIP.

Houston Astros Take Game 7, Win First World Series Title

Astros Win World Series

It’s been 55 years in the making, but finally, the Houston Astros are World Series champions. With a 5-1 win over Los Angeles Dodgers in Games 7, the Astros secured their first world championship in franchise history. Without a doubt, this World Series was one of the greatest in recent memory. The most pivotal (and thrilling) games of the series were games two and five. Both went to extra innings. Both were won by the Astros.

Game Two had everyone on the edge of their seats.

World Series Game 2: Springer’s Dinger Lifts Stros in 11 Inning Thriller

When fans couldn’t ask for more, Game Five happened.

Then Game Six, Houston trots Justin Verlander to the mound. Just like game two, Verlander pitched well, but this World Series was too great to be decided in six games. After the Dodgers prevailed, all bets were off come Game Seven. Everything pointed to a Dodgers victory in Game Seven. They had confidence, they had swagger, and they had Yu Darvish on the mound. Eight Darvish pitches into the game, the Astros had a 2-0 lead. In the top of the second, George Springer hit his fifth home run of the series to extend the lead to 5-0. That was all they needed. Lance McCullers Jr. to Brad Peacock. Peacock to Francisco Liriano for four pitches and an out. Then Chris Devenski for an out. Finally, Charlie Morton for the final four innings. Each one did their job and Morton finished it off. Houston Astros: World Series Champions.

Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran, Justin Verlander finally get their rings; well earned. Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, George Springer, and Alex Bregman all just getting started. After the devastation left by Hurricane Harvey, the city of Houston deserves this. This isn’t a fluke either; they’ll be around for years to come.

McCann, Beltran, Verlander Tribute

Never Forget the H2Bro

H2Bro Doesn’t Care About Your First Homerun Either

Carlos Beltran Did It All

You Can’t Name Three Starters Better over the Last Decade

 

 

World Series Game 2: Springer’s Dinger Lifts ‘Stros in 11 Inning Thriller

World Series Game 2: Dodgers lead series 1-0

Through 8, Dodgers lead 3-2

  • Top 3: Bregman Single, Reddick Scores. HOU 1-0.
  • Bottom 5: Pederson Home Run. Tied 1-1.
  • Bottom 6: Seager Home Run, Taylor Scores. LAD 3-1.
  • Top 8: Correa Single, Bregman Scores. LAD 3-2.

Top 9: Jansen Blows the Save

Top Nine. 3-2 Dodgers. Stud Closer Kenley Jansen on the mound for his second inning of work. Marwin Gonzalez digging in at the plate. Jansen receives his call from his catcher, he comes set, he kicks, he throws; 92 MPH cutter down in the zone. Gonzalez takes, called strike looking.

Jansen gets the ball back. Makes his way back to the bump. Just like the pitch before, the 6’5″ Jansen unleashes another 92 MPH cutter further down in the zone. This time Gonzalez swings catching a piece and fouling the pitch off. Strike two.

Now one pitch away from being two outs from victory, Jansen has a choice: waste a pitch or go right after Gonzalez. Jansen picks the later. The righty rares back and fires. A third cutter, 94 MPH. However, this time Jansen makes a mistake and leaves the pitch up. Gonzalez makes him pay. The Venezuelan utility tool launches a bomb just over the left-center field fence to tie the game.

Despite a George Springer double, Jansen was able to end the Astro threat and get through the rest of the inning.


Bottom 9: Ken Giles Retires the Side

First, Corey Seager sees three straight fastballs at 98,99, and 98 MPH respectively. Seager fouls off the first, takes the second for a ball, and whiffs on the third. On the fourth pitch, Giles runs a slider down and in and Seager misses again; one out.

Second up, Justin Turner. First pitch, ball outside. Next, a slider across the heart of the plate for a called strike. Then Giles heats it back up, a 98 MPH fastball middle away that Turner catches a piece and fouls off. On pitch number four, Giles runs another slider away from Turner. Turner rolls over and grounds out to second base.

Finally, Cody Bellinger. Giles came right after the talented rookie, first testing him with 98 MPH fastball down in the zone for a ball. Pitch number two, Giles comes right back at Bellinger with a fastball right above the knees. Bellinger took a mighty hack that brought the Chavez Ravine crowd to their feet. However, the hit landed just short of the wall, safely into George Springer’s glove.


Top 10: Altuve and Correa Go Back-to-Back

Now on the mound for LA, Josh Fields. First up, likely AL MVP Jose Altuve. Fields choose to avoid Altuve with two fastballs away but then makes a crucial mistake; a chest-high 97 MPH fastball Altuve absolutely crushes over the fence to the deepest part of the field. 4-3 Astros.

To make matters worse for the Dodgers, now up Carlos Correa. Fields first pitch another fastball. Correa fouls it off. Then Fields tried to mix it up. A curveball that hung just a little too long. Correa doesn’t miss. 427 feet over the centerfield fence. 5-3.

Dave Roberts leaves Fields in to face Yuli Gurriel. One pitch, Gurriel doubles to center fields. Josh Fields out, Tony Gingrani in. No outs, runner on second.

Cingrani goes on to retire Brian McCann with a fly out to center. The Dodgers then chose to walk Gonzalez to set up the double play. Sure enough, Cingrani induces a Josh Reddick ground ball back to the mound that he rolls up for two outs and end the inning.


Bottom 10: #PuigYourFriend so is Keke

Giles back on for another inning of work. First up, Yasiel Puig. With the weight of the city on his shoulders, Puig delivers. Puig punishes a 97 MPH fastball, Giles fourth of the at-bat, for a 425-foot bomb. 5-4 Astros.

Then Giles regained his bearings. The flamethrower retired both Yasmani Grandal and Austin Barnes on strikes before facing Logan Forsythe with two outs and an opportunity to finish off the game. However, Logan Forsyth had nerves of steel. The big pinch-hitter took three straight balls with two strikes to earn a free pass.

Now in the box, Keke Hernandez. First pitch, fastball down for a ball. On the next pitch, Giles let one slip and Forsythe advanced to second on the wild pitch. Hernandez fouled off the third pitch, a fastball chest-high. Giles missed again outside with the fourth pitch to move the count to 3-1. Pitch number five, Hernandez delivered, pushing an outside fastball back where it came from through the hole. Forsythe beat the throw from Reddick and tied the game at five.

Chris Devenski replaced Giles after allowing the game-tying hit. In a fortunate play for the Astros, Devenski tried to pick Hernandez at second but missed horribly. The ball would’ve gone into centerfield and Hernandez would’ve advanced, but the ball hit umpire Lez Diaz and forced the runner to stay at second.

Chris Taylor could’ve ended the game with a base hit, but Devenski was able to induce a fly out to end the threat.


Top 11: Springer Hits a Dinger

Brandon McCarthy now on the mound for the Dodgers. Leading off, Cameron Maybin. Maybin sees four straight sinkers from McCarthy; a ball away, a swing and miss on a pitch inside, and then he takes another ball outside. Then McCarthy leaves a sinker slightly elevated that Maybin shoots back up the middle.

Now up, George Springer. Springer takes a first-pitch sinker for a ball down. On the next pitch, Maybin broke for second. The pitch was a ball that allowed the speedster to swipe second base easily. The stolen base earned the world a free taco. Now down 2-0, McCarthy threw an 87 MPH cutter across that Springer fouled off. McCarthy decided to challenge Springer with another cutter in essentially the same location as the last and Springer attacked. 389 feet later, the Astros were up 7-5.

McCarthy then retired Alex Bregman, Altuve, and Correa in order to end the inning.


Bottom 11: Culberson Bomb, Puig Gets His Chance

Houston sent Devenski back out to the mound for the 11th and the move almost backfired. Both Corey Seager and Justin Turner hit rocket shots off Devenski; however, Seager hit his right at Cameron Maybin and Justin Turner lined out on a laser that Carlos Correa snagged from shooting into left field. Two pitches later, Charlie Culberson cut the lead in half with a home run off a 95 MPH fastball that he blasted over the left-center fence. Culberson’s home run was the fifth dinger of the game hit in extra innings. In World Series history, there have only been 17 extra-inning home runs hit all time.

For Yasiel Puig, the table was set. This was his moment. Two outs, needing one run, everything was perfect for a Puig storybook bomb. Quickly down 0-2, Puig didn’t falter. He fouled off a third straight changeup after watching the first two. Then Puig proceeded to take three straight balls. Now sitting 3-2, Devenski had to pound the strike zone. Puig fouled a changeup to the backstop on the next pitch. Next, the eighth pitch of the at-bat, Puig fouled off another changeup. Finally, Devenski was able to get Puig to chase a changeup down and away to end the game and earned the Astros their first World Series game win ever.


Heading to Houston: Tied 1-1

Yankees vs. Astros: Game 6

Tonight at 8:08 PM, EST at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Game 6 between the Yankees and the Astros will be played. The Astros started out 2-0 in the series, but have fallen to 3-2 after three straight unimpressive offensive outings. The good news for the Astros, is they’re sending out their newfound ace in Justin Verlander.

Friend of QMS and avid Yankees supporter, Tyrell Brown aka Panda, has graciously supplied us with his “5 Keys” to the Yankees taking Game 6. I delightedly agreed to play Devil’s Advocate and supply my own “5 Keys” for the Astros, so I’ll lay them out, and we’ll see who calls it.

Panda’s 5 Keys (Yankees) TreBabs’ 5 Keys (Astros)
1. Scoring First:

In this series, the team that scored first has won 4 out of 5 times. The one exception being the Yankees in Game 4, large in part to their late innings rally. Best case scenario for the Yanks is someone in their lineup sends a Verlander mistake over the wall.

 

 

1. Justin Verlander:

Verlander has been a monster ever since he joined the Astros, especially in the postseason, but his best game of his tenure came in Game 2 of this series. He only allowed 5 hits & 1 ER, while striking out 13 in a Complete Game gem. Hopefully, for his sake, he’ll get a little run support this time around.

 

2. Aaron Judge:

As we’ve seen all year, the Yankees are a completely different team when Judge produces. In this series, he has gone a respectable 5-16, with 2 HRs and 6 RBI. The Yanks have won in every game that he has hit an RBI. It really comes down to the rookie, which is scary, because he was awful against Verlander in Game 2, going 0-4 with 2 Ks.

 

2. Power From Superstars:

This series has been completely different from the ALDS, where the Astros were sending balls out of the park left and right. They’ve only hit 1 HR as a team, which was a 1st inning shot from Carlos Correa. Severino has been known to leave a ball or two up in the zone, so this is the perfect match-up to pounce on a mistake.

 

3. Production From DH:

The Yankees’ DH spot has featured primarily Chase Headly, but Gary Sanchez and Matt Holliday have also hit in the spot for a game each. Combined, the DHs have went 5-16, with most of the production coming from Headly in Game 5. I imagine that Headly will get the call again for the Yanks. At the very least, they’ll need the veteran to be a tough out in the 9-hole.

3. Hitting With RISP:

The Astros have been absolutely terrible with runners in scoring position in this series, going 4-27. This is going to have to change tonight or their October run is going to come to an end.

 

 

4. Bullpen:

Over the course of this series, the Yankees’ Bullpen is averaging over 3 innings pitched a game. They know their strengths, and they are going to play to them. The only real mishap that their Pen’s had, is the walk-off Chapman gave up in Game 1. In a perfect world, Severino will give them a strong 5 innings tonight and hand the ball off with a lead.

 

4. Chasing Severino:

Severino has been an up and down pitcher all year long. He has tremendous upside, but he tends to get in trouble early in games. The Astros need to interrupt the Yankees’ game plan tonight by getting to Severino in the first couple of innings. If he gives the ball off with a lead it’s going to much harder for them to win.

 

5. Getting To Astros Bullpen:

Other than Game 5, the Astros’ Bullpen has actually been really good, but not as good as Justin Verlander. If the Yankees can get to at least one pitcher between Verlander and Giles, then their chances of winning this game will go up immensely.

 

5. Taking Back Momentum:

This one comes down to something more than statistics. We all know that “home field advantage” can be a very real thing, especially in the postseason. Ever since the tragic Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, their fans have really rallied behind this team, and they’re going to need that support to force a Game 7.

 

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