The 5 Best MLB Moments from Friday

Panda hugs, cup snakes and more!


The Quest for Birthday Perfection


Freddy Peralta was dominant yesterday. Well, Peralta has been killing it all year (2.25 ERA/2.89 FIP, 0.875 WHIP, 12.9 K/9 in 64 IP). But on Friday, it was his 25th birthday. So naturally, Peralta tried to do something that hadn’t been done since 1912—a no-hitter on one’s birthday.

He got through seven strong innings allowing zero hits and just two walks. In fact, you know how every no-no/perfecto has “the catch?” The Brewers had a sparkling one of those in the seventh.

But just one inning later, the pitch count was too high (97 to start the eighth), and Peralta’s command faltered as he allowed a one-out walk and then a single before being pulled.

His teammates, particularly Willy Adames (who has been Peralta’s teammate for just two weeks), sprinted to the mound to hug the pitcher and congratulate the now 25-year-old on a phenomenal start.


Meanwhile, in Oklahoma City, there was another birthday bonanza brewing…

On her 21st birthday, Montana Fouts took the hill for Alabama to face the reigning Women’s College World Series champion UCLA (they won in 2019 and there was no WCWS in 2020). Fouts, the SEC Co-Pitcher of the Year, and the Crimson Tide had been on a roll, looking to notch their 20th straight win by beating one of softball’s best teams.

After 21 batters faced on the day she turned 21, Fouts achieved perfection.

7 IP, 14 Ks. Fouts threw the first perfect game in WCWS history since May 25, 2000—just nine days before she was born.

How can you not get emotional about baseball?



Joc Pederson Dismantles Brandon Crawford


Sometimes, players can’t control their emotions on the field. These athletes have poured their entire lives into this sport to become the best they could possibly be. Any sort of failure can cause the coolest of heads to lose their composure and act out.

We’ve all been there ourselves. For those of you who played baseball growing up, do you have any moments where your frustration got the better of you and your emotion spilled out onto the diamond?

Joc Pederson had that happen yesterday. In the sixth, Pederson grounded out to Brandon Crawford. And in what Joe Buck would undoubtedly call a “disgusting act,” Pederson voiced his displeasure in the simplest, most effective way possible.


I’m shocked that the benches didn’t clear after this obscene gesture.


Pablo’s Panda Express


I want to preface this highlight with a warning: if you see a panda in the wild, DO NOT try to hug it! I know that pandas look like such peaceful, cuddly creatures that seem to indulge themselves in endless bamboo, but it is just an act. They are vicious deviants.

However, if you see a panda in the Atlanta dugout, feel free to hug it all you want! There’s a 93% chance it’s just Pablo Sandoval.

Sandoval is having himself a bit of a renaissance year as a pinch hitter (.245/.351/.490 with a 130 wRC+ in 57 PAs). But because he spends so much time on the bench, he’s embraced the role of being the best support panda Atlanta could possibly want.

Freddie Freeman, following his first-inning blast against the Dodgers, received one of Sandoval’s patented panda hugs.


Building Community Through Snakes


When your team is losing 13 – 1, it’s hard to find enjoyment in what’s happening on the field. That’s why the wise Buffalo Blue Jays fans turned their attention to a much more pressing matter at hand: cup snakes.

What better way to forge a strong sense of community? You can’t build an impressive cup snake by yourself. Going through that much beer would cost a couple of mortgages and a trip to the ER.

But to be fair, it will be hard for any group of fans to ever conquer this monstrosity that appeared in the bleachers of Comiskey, US Cellular, Guaranteed Rate Field.

That cub snake might legitimately be worth more than a T206 Honus Wagner card.


Friday’s Spirit Fan of the Day Goes to…


This little rapscallion had a few too many juice boxes! There’s a reason they cut off service by the seventh inning, just look at what can happen to people:

We’ve all been there, kiddo.

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.

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