The PTERODACTYL Awards: Week 3

A third no-no*? This is getting out of hand...

We are back with another installment of the PTERODACTYL awards, recognizing the most exciting players and plays of the last week of baseball. For those of you joining us for the first time this week, PTERODACTYL is an overly complex acronym standing for Players That Embrace Riling Onlookers, Demanding Attention, & Causing Them to Yell Louder. It’s a Pitcher List award to be bestowed upon the players that command our attention week to week with their performance and personality, both on and off the field.

Week 3 gave us our third consecutive week with a no-hitter (depending on how you feel about seven-inning games), along with further crimes against nachos (the humanity!). There were highlights, lowlights, and everything in between (midlights?), along with the fan interactions that make the game great. Let’s dive in!


Jaw-Dropper of the Week



If I’m being completely honest, I’ll take a remarkable diving play over a monster home run (almost) any day of the week. Enter Clint Frazier’s high-flying catch to rob Jordan Luplow of extra bases last weekend. Frazier goes full Superman here, completely leaving his feet to snag the sinking line drive. It’s absolutely wild that he’s completely horizontal a good three feet above the ground, diving towards the wall. It might be sacrilege to compare this catch to one by Jim Edmonds, but at the very least it’s Edmonds-esque. It immediately rivals Mookie Betts‘ game-saving catch against the Padres from last week, and will undoubtedly be a contender for catch of the year. And it’s only April!


King of the Hill



4/23/2021 — Jacob deGrom

9 IP, 0 ER, 2 H, 15 K, 0 BB, 41.3% CSW%

If you’re reading this thinking, “What is this guy talking about? MadBum threw a no-no!” I honestly can’t blame you. It much harder to decide this week, but the PTERODACTYL goes to the best pitcher in MLB (not named Yermín Mercedes). While MadBum pitched an excellent game, it just wasn’t nine innings (through no fault of his own, of course). deGrom threw all nine and racked up an incredible 15 strikeouts, a career-high. Not only that, but deGrom’s game was the best-pitched game of the season by game score, eclipsing both Musgrove and Rodón’s no-hitters. Both pitchers were dominant, but deGrom was downright cerebral through his nearly flawless shutout.

The gem against Washington was also the third consecutive game in which deGrom struck out at least 14, and he seems to only get better and better with age. It’s truly a wonder that anyone can get any hits off of him at all – he’s averaging 98.9 mph on his fastball and pairing it with downright filthy breaking stuff because that’s a completely normal thing for a human to do. It feels like deGrom can go out on any given day and throw a no-hitter. He’s in the midst of a truly historic run in 2021. All of his starts are must-watch.


Fan Shenanigans


When you’re sitting in the home run seats, you have to come prepared. One fan took that to heart by whipping out a massive glove to snag Aaron Hicks‘ tank job in the fifth inning during Saturday’s Cleveland-New York matchup.

Laugh all you want, but that ball was clearly going over his head if he brought average hardware to the park that day. My only question is, can you use that in a game? I assume there are some size and shape constraints, but how large of a glove can a player get away with before the umpires put a damper on the fun? Maybe they could get away with it if they wore oversized hands under the glove?



Shoulda Walked Him



4/22 – 4/25 — Fernando Tatís Jr.

8-for-18, 5 HR, .444/.500/1.278, 323 wRC+

Typically, this award goes to the best single-game hitting performance of the previous week, however, I can’t ignore the absolute tear Fernando Tatís Jr. went on at Chavez Ravine this past weekend. Tatís cranked five home runs in the four-game set with L.A., including back-to-back two-homer games off of Clayton Kershaw and Trevor Bauer. He’s always seemed like an inevitability in San Diego’s lineup, a force of nature just waiting for his turn to be unleashed. Indeed, when Tatís was selected as the inherited runner in the 11th inning of Sunday’s five-hour marathon, it seemed predestined he would swipe third base. He did just that on his way to winning the game for the Padres, and seemingly could do just about everything but field his position during the series.

Congrats Fernando, here’s to another decade of terrorizing the NL West.


“That’s Baseball”



4/24/2021 — Madison Bumgarner

7.0 IP, 0 ER, 0 H, 7 K, 0 BBs, 29.6% CSW% 

I couldn’t not talk about MadBum’s “faux” hitter this week after the grizzled veteran stymied Atlanta over seven no-hit innings Saturday as one half of a doubleheader. It was a downright pitiful day for Atlanta’s hitters who somehow only scraped together a single hit across all 14 innings of the twin bill. Bumgarner certainly did his part, holding their typically potent offense to just a single baserunner, courtesy of a Nick Ahmed throwing error in the second inning. Still, MadBum was denied (at least officially) his no-hitter since the game only went seven innings. It’s not like he could have pitched better, but as of now, he joins the 37 other pitchers to have held opponents hitless in a non-standard game. Unfortunately for MadBum, life’s not always fair. And that’s baseball.


Rockin’ Role Player



Nick Maton

10-for-18, 3 2B, .556/.600/.722, 261 wRC+

If you’re reading this and have no idea who Nick Maton is, you’re probably not alone. Maton enjoyed a very fruitful start to his major league career this past week, batting over .500 through his first five games. His call-up could not have come at a better time either as the Phillies fight for the top spot in the NL East. His hot start is enough to win him his first major league PTERODACTYL as the best source of unexpected production in the league this week. The fresh-faced rookie banged the ball around the park in his first week, with twice as many hits as games played, including three for extra bases. Unfortunately, many of those hits have come without runners on, and the Phillies have struggled to cash in on Maton’s .600 OBP so far, with just a single run and RBI in his ledger to date.

So, if you don’t know who Nick Maton is, it may be time to find out.


Nacho Crimes


Another week, another plate of nachos down. When will the madness end? This week, a poor fan lost his lunch, his footing, and his home run ball in a ruthless sequence of events, which was then of course broadcast all over the internet. Clearly, he needs to take a page out of Big Glove Guy’s book next time he’s at the park.

Absolutely brutal display here, and unlike last week’s sacrifice at Dodger Stadium, these nachos truly died for nothing. Well, not nothing I guess, because here we are laughing at it. So perhaps that’s a consolation prize for this unlucky spectator. I doubt it though, ballpark food is expensive.

See you next week!


Design by J.R. Caines (@JRCainesDesign on Twitter and @caines_design on Instagram)

Noah Scott

Noah Scott is a long-suffering baseball writer and knuckleball connoisseur. If you want to talk old timey baseball names, traffic on the 405, or lukewarm hip-hop opinions you can find him on Twitter @noahascott6

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