The 5 Best MLB Moments from Friday

The best shuffles, hugs and Joey Votto moments from Friday's games.


2021’s Most Dynamic Two-Way Player: La Tortuga


Babe Ruth. Shohei Ohtani. Willians Astudillo.

Three baseball icons with excellence both at the plate and on the mound. You have read of Ruth’s accomplishments and bore witness to Ohtani’s potential. But have you truly appreciated the greatness that is La Tortuga?

Astudillo lives to put the bat on the ball. Strikeouts and walks are just a waste of his time. On some athletic plays, his pliability and nimbleness is almost incomprehensible to our mere mortal eye.

And yesterday, we witnessed the third phase of baseball’s most captivating enigma: his pitching.

Astudillo did have one inning pitched years back on July 14, 2018. But it left much to be desired. His stats after that game? 45 ERA/29.16 FIP, 5 WHIP, 45 H/9 and 18 HR/9 (none of those numbers are typos—thanks, small sample sizes!).

However, in Friday’s game against the Angels, Astudillo was not only the Twins’ best pitcher, but some of his pitches broke our brains. Just look at this filth.

Two of his seven pitches were so slow that they didn’t even register on Statcast.

Most of his pitches danced to home plate below 60 mph, but Astudillo showed that he could blaze the ball right past hitters with heat like this.


With that sort of inconceivable stuff, Astudillo worked a clean 1-2-3 inning with no batted ball leaving the infield. Truly a majestic performance.


“Try and Steal on Me… No Seriously, Please Try”


Freddie Freeman is just a bundle of positive energy that takes the form of a 6’5″, 220 lb. behemoth that mashes baseballs. For his opponents, it’s hard not to love someone who clearly has fun while playing the game.

Take for instance the Braves visiting Wrigley Field yesterday. In the bottom of the second, Freeman had to keep an eye on Javier Baez, the current NL steals leader. But Freeman also wanted a challenge. So when Kyle Wright tried to pick off Baez, who hadn’t even stepped off first base, Freeman gave him a little encouragement.


But the lead proved unnecessary as Jason Heyward ripped a single on the next pitch, pushing Baez over to third.

If you don’t remember, Freeman and Heyward were both drafted by the Braves in 2007 and came up through their minor-league system together. So when these former roommates met together on first, they showed each other a little love.



A Hug Like 1,000 Freight Trains 


While Freeman always looks at ease no matter the situation, some players walk around like a raging inferno that hopes to vanquish its enemies to another realm. No one embodies that more than Max Scherzer.

Every single thing that Scherzer does is at 100% intensity. Seriously. You know how hugs are supposed to be relaxed and somewhat gentle, like the one between Heyward and Freeman?

That’s not the case for Mad Max. That hug looks like it left a bruise.


Joey Votto Relives High School


Kyle Farmer grew up in the suburbs of Atlanta, playing baseball and football at Marist School. He stuck with baseball over the next decade, and ultimately he found himself on the Cincinnati Reds with Joey Votto. Votto, always looking out for his teammates, wanted to make sure that people didn’t forget about Farmer’s roots as a football player.

What motivated Votto to wear Farmer’s jersey after this specific game? The world may never know…


At least now a lot more people know that Farmer had a cameo as a high school quarterback in the 2009 film “The Blind Side.”


The Soto Ozuna Shuffle???


The entire world knows of the Soto Shuffle. Last week, we saw the much rarer Cueto Triple Shimmy. On Friday, we discovered a new sort of specimen, something truly one-a-kind: the Ozuna Shuffle.

Solid form. The footwork is very good, it’s clear that Ozuna has been working hard on that ending pose. But I do think he needs to get his hips involved a bit more. Overall, I give it an 8.5/10, what do you rate it?

Photo by Icon Sportswire | Adapted by Justin Paradis (@JustParaDesigns of Twitter)

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.

One response to “The 5 Best MLB Moments from Friday”

  1. Myles Nelson says:

    La Tortuga is a national treasure

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