The PTERODACTYL Awards: Week 6

Panda Panda Panda Panda Panda

Week six of the MLB season is all wrapped up, and we are back with another installment of the PTERODACTYL awards recognizing the best performances and moments from around the league. If you’re new to this series, the PTERODACTYL awards are an overly complex acronym recognizing 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 the spotlight week to week with their performances and personalities, both on and off the field. It’s all about celebrating the moments that make baseball fun. And last week was nothing, if not fun. Let’s get to it.


Jaw-Dropper of the Week



Jackie Bradley Jr.

Jackie Bradley Jr. straight-up bullied Ozzie Albies on defense last week, as he stole a home run and a double from the Atlanta infielder in consecutive games with his amazing defense. On Saturday, he scaled the center field wall to bring back a home run, and saved Luis Perdomo a few runs on his ERA. Then, less than 24 hours later, he was at it again, this time squeezing every inch of height out of his 5’10” frame to snatch a surefire double of the air and rob Ozzie Albies of extra bases for the second day in a row. Both plays are feats of absurd athleticism and timing, and reminders that Bradley remains one of, if not the best defensive outfielders in baseball. I’m also sure that Albies is breathing a sigh of relief now that the series has ended and he can go back to hitting gap shots without such pesky interference.


King of the Hill



5/12/2021 — Gerrit Cole

8.0 IP, 0 ER, 4 H, 12 K, 0 BB, 43.4% CSW

K #1500

In case you hadn’t noticed, Gerrit Cole has been on a historical run to start the season, culminating in the ace setting the major league record for the most consecutive strikeouts without a walk last week. He continued on his path of destruction by steamrolling the Tampa Bay Rays over eight innings last Wednesday, to the tune of a ridiculous 43.4% CSW rate. Along the way Cole also picked up his 1500th career strikeout, adding a special milestone to an already exceptional day. He finished his afternoon having surrendered only four baserunners, and fanned 12 over a tidy 106 pitches, shrinking his ERA to 1.37 for the season. All in all, not a bad week on the mound for King Cole.


Shoulda Walked Him



Aaron Judge

12-for-24, 5 HRs, .500/.586/1.167, 365 wRC+

If one featured Yankee wasn’t enough for you, here’s Aaron Judge as he joins Gerrit Cole as the first pair of teammates to take home the top pitching and hitting PTERODACTYL awards in a single week. While you may be cringing at the pinstripes, you can’t possibly be cringing as hard as a baseball on its way to meet Judge at home plate. The Yankees’ chief magistrate blasted pitch after pitch into the bleachers last week, as he crushed five home runs while batting .500 with a ridiculous 1.753 OPS. That’s just… unreal. If you followed along with Judge’s week live, it felt like he was going to go yard every time he stepped to the plate (which, if anyone could, it would be Judge). It was a monster week, and one that deserves recognition.


Betwixt Innings


Kyle Schwarber/Kris Bryant

Despite now wearing different uniforms, there’s still a lot of love between the Nationals’ Kyle Schwarber and his old teammates on the Cubs. In his return to Wrigley Field last week, Schwarber was met with standing ovations and raucous applause from the Cubs faithful, as well as from the players he used to share a clubhouse with. The homecoming was topped off with a sweet moment between Schwarber and his old pal Kris Bryant, as the latter left a Twix bar in left field for Schwarber between innings.

Schwarber welcomed the gift with open arms (or an open mouth) and popped the candy into his mouth. Then, in his next at-bat, he hit a two-run missile to center field. It remains to be seen if Schwarber will incorporate the Twix into his future games, but with how superstitious baseball players can be, it wouldn’t be entirely surprising.





Few teams seem to be having as much fun as Atlanta these days, as they continue to trot out one of the most potent lineups in baseball to terrorize pitchers and outfield bleachers alike. As of this writing, Atlanta currently leads MLB in home runs as a team. So what’s their secret? Yes, it could be the fact their lineup features MVP-level talents in Freddie Freeman and Ronald Acuña Jr., but I’m more willing to believe it’s due to an incentive from veteran Pablo Sandoval.

I would be trying to hit everything to the parking lot too if it meant a big hug from the Kung Fu Panda. And the Sandoval worship doesn’t stop there, either. Ronald Acuña Jr. showed his devotion to his teammate by donning his own Panda head and busting out a celebratory dance a few days later.

Isn’t it fun when players are allowed to be themselves?


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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