Mets & Yankees Honor First Responders and 4 Unique Moments from Friday

I didn't know you could have that many lefties...

There’s about two weeks left in the regular season—oh how time has flown! I don’t know about you all, but I’ve been trying watch as much baseball as is physically possible in a 24 hour day. If you didn’t have a lot time to watch yesterday’s games, here’s a recap of some cool moments you may have missed.

 

Mets and Yankees Honor 9/11 First Responders

 

Yesterday was the 19th anniversary of 9/11. The Mets and Yankees donned the hats of the NYPD and NYFD to honor the 412 emergency workers who passed away due to their service on that day.

Both teams have repeatedly asked for permission to wear these hats, which the MLB did not grant. Previously, this meant that players like Pete Alonso had to take matters into their own hands.

But on Friday, both teams honored the NYPD and NYFD as they played some of their best baseball of the season.

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Many players spoke of the impact that 9/11 had on them, from Gerrit Cole talking about what it means to pitch on this date to Luis Rojas‘ personal connection to the FDNY.

The Mets and Yankees posted a combined score of 34-2, with blow out wins in all three of their games.

This gesture represents another chapter in the important role that baseball played in America’s recovery following 9/11. Other significant moments include Mike Piazza’s homer in the first game back in New York, Sammy Sosa trotting the bases while carrying an American flag, and George Bush throwing arguably the greatest first pitch ever.

 

Rays Post Nine Straight L’s

 

Baseball’s storied 100+ year history is what makes it especially unique. It is rare to experience something that never happened before. But Friday’s game between the Rays and Red Sox featured a unique feat that hasn’t been seen since at least the beginning of the 20th century: An all-lefty lineup.

That’s right, Ned Flanders, all your hard work has finally paid off. You can also credit Anthony Rizzo and Don Mattingly, who showed that lefties could play anywhere in the infield (except shortstop I guess).

This legendary Rays lineup broke the previous record of eight lefties, which was most recently done by the Rays a week ago.

 

Alex Young and The Great Outdoors

 

Each player, coach, and mascot is trying to make the most of the extra space in the ballpark this season. Alex Young wanted to fully warm up before he appeared in the fourth inning of the Diamondbacks vs. Mariners game, but he couldn’t do it inside Chase Field (what with the whole game going on). So Young took his talent to the streets.

 

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Literally.

Young warmed up with some long tossing just outside of the ballpark.

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Maybe more pitchers should try this warm-up routine, as Young had the best pitching performance in the game, with 2 ER over 5.1 IP which good enough to clinch the win.

 

Espinal & Alonso: Clemens vs. Piazza Part 2?

 

Most games that feature a run differential of 15+ also include a pitching position player or two. On Friday, Santiago Espinal became the 68th position player to find himself on the mound in 2020 when he entered the top of the ninth with the Blue Jays down 17-1.

Espinal ended up posting one of the cleanest innings for the Blue Jays, giving up 2 hits and 1 ER while only throwing breaking pitches that topped out at 86.6 MPH.

Espinal’s command wasn’t all that there and a 1-2 pitch lightly tapped Pete Alonso on his thigh, but Alonso seemed understanding as he tossed the ball right back to Espinal.

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Although this was a kind gesture at heart, it ended up being all for naught as any ball touched by multiple people has to be replaced, anyway.

So what happened to Alonso? No, he nor Joe Kelly did not receive any punishment for this. Instead, Alonso scored the Mets last run, coming home on an Andrés Giménez double to make it 18-1.

 

Bieber’s Historic 2020 Continues

 

If you weren’t aware, Shane Bieber is killing it right now. Although Bieber’s eight Ks over seven innings of three-run ball didn’t secure a win for the Indians, Bieber’s performance was good enough to preserve his hold of the pitching Triple Crown. The strikeouts also crossed off one big accomplishment to help boost his Cy Young and MVP candidacy.

Scherzer, Cole and a young Wood is some good company.

 

 

Alex Kleinman

Journalist who loves the Yankees and the Bears. One gives me strength, the other leads me to existential dread. When I'm not obsessing over baseball, you can find me at a concert, hiking in a National Park or chasing my dog, Frankie, who has probably stolen one of my socks.

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