The 6 Best MLB Moments from Friday

Sorry, Fernando Tatis Jr., better luck next time...

Johnny Cueto Can Do Anything


Fact: Johnny Cueto’s body control ranks in the 99th percentile of all humans ever. How else could he do this?


On Friday, Cueto did things that I didn’t even know he was capable of. First, he demonstrated a unique type of shimmy that I don’t think I’ve ever seen before.

Don’t worry, Cueto was okay! One inning later, Cueto found himself on first base when LaMonte Wade Jr. crushed a ball into “Triples Alley.” Cueto instantly knew he had a chance to score.

Baseball is a game of inches. You can’t be afraid to Spider tack on any advantage that gives you an edge. Cueto used to be one of the slowest players in the game (21.1 ft/sec in 2015—bottom 1% in the league). But as Cueto aged like fine wine, he now understands that you have to immediately cut away whatever baggage may slow you down.

Seems like Cueto has watched enough Willians Astudillo highlights to realize that helmets are a nuisance.


Cobb & Candelario’s Cat-and-Mouse Game


Sign stealing is a cat-and-mouse game. Pitchers try to adapt and hitters try to overcome. Except if you’re Zack Greinke and you could not care less.

Like 99.9% of pitchers in baseball, Alex Cobb is not built like Greinke. Cobb is just like every other pitcher out there who is hyper-sensitive with a runner on second. On Friday, Cobb got annoyed when he thought Jeimer Candelario was reading his grips. After ending the inning with a nasty K, a victorious Cobb turned around and let Candelario know that he won the mind games.


Baseball’s Underrated Weapon: The Wave


Baseball has certain intangibles that are hard to quantify. There is no real stat out there we can use to analyze baseball IQ. Nor is there a way to quantify the impact of a boisterous crowd at 100% capacity.

But Joey Votto is an expert when it comes to intangibles. He knows how to work a crowd and pump up his teammates. He hones in on those little parts of the game that other players ignore. But he’s not necessarily an expert when it comes to stealing bases. Yes, Votto does have the 273rd highest SB% of all time (73.394%). Before yesterday, the last time he stole a base was on Sept. 12, 2019. You would think that Votto is a consistent weapon on the bases based on this clip right here.


What a gutsy call by Votto. Reds are down two with two runners on and you attempt this… How was Votto able to pull this off? Well, Manny Machado is prone to poor decision-making. Sometimes Machado’s anger can get the best of him. Other times, he gets distracted by a nice wave in the crowd and forgets he’s playing baseball.

No, really.


Votto is going to pick up on that. He runs right in front of Machado, and Manny doesn’t move a step. To be fair, all baseball players haven’t seen a wave like that in years. Looks like Javier Báez isn’t the only player who can play mind games.


The Best Dancer on the Padres is…


Maybe the real reason Machado got so easily distracted by an admittedly awesome crowd is because the Padres just have too much fun. I didn’t think that was possible. But when Fernando Tatis Jr. is on your team, anything is possible. When he’s not crushing dingers at a historic rate, he’s encouraging the entire Padres dugout to burst out into a spontaneous dance party.

Ha-seong Kim got the moves. Seems like we found something that Tatis Jr isn’t the best at. Let’s get a replay of that one.


The Padres are just a walking highlight reel.


Who Needs Spin When You Have a Sword?


Trevor Bauer may be one of baseball’s biggest spin rate fallers since the MLB’s sticky substances memo, but it didn’t make a difference yesterday as he carved apart Las Serpientes by allowing just 3 H and 3 BB with 8 K over seven scoreless frames. As is usual, Bauer sheathed his sword after slashing Christian Walker with a fastball high and inside.


José Abreu: Future World Cup Star


The White Sox are arguably the most talented team in the American League. I’m not talking about when it comes to baseball—they look like they’re ready to compete in the World Cup qualifiers.

Sweet moves like those must be putting White Sox fans on edge. With injuries happening at a sky-high rate in 2021, it wouldn’t surprise me to see the entire White Sox lineup get sidelined due to an epidemic of twisted ankles.

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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