The game of baseball is unique compared to other professional sports given the fact that there aren’t many breaks in the schedule. This would mean that on any given day anyone can beat anyone despite their record or place in the standings. It also means that on any given night something historic or unusual can happen. Last night we had a piece of history in the lore of the Washington Nationals, and something unusual courtesy of the Toronto Blue Jays.
Nationals’ Trea Turner slides into third for a triple to complete the third cycle in team history.
Last night was an interesting evening at baseball’s version of the Frozen Tundra. Gametime temperatures were in the low 40’s at Coors Field in Denver, with wind gusts making it feel much colder. There was a threat of snow and a frozen rain delay during the game between the home standing Colorado Rockies and the Washington Nationals.
The frigid air made for some interesting baseball. “Coors Field at it’s finest” Nats manager Dusty Baker told the Washington Post. Washington would score the first seven runs of the game, the Rockies would score the last seven. The result was a Nationals 15-12 victory.
But the score and the conditions weren’t what made last night historic. Nationals shortstop Trea Turner drove in seven runs, Daniel Murphy knocked in five. Turner’s RBI total placed him in a second place tie for the most in a single game in Washington’s history. That still isn’t the historic significance of this night. In addition to his RBI explosion, Turner hit for the cycle. He becomes the third player in the team’s history to accomplish the feat, Cristian Guzman and Brad Wilkerson are the other two. Bench coach Chris Speier also hit for the cycle as a member of the Montreal Expos who are the current day Nats.
Now let’s move on to the unusual.
Blue Jays Chris Coghlan leaps over Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina to give Toronto a 3-2 lead.
In a 2-2 ballgame at Busch Stadium in St. Louis last night, Toronto Blue Jays center-fielder Kevin Pillar hit a screaming fly ball into right field. Chris Coghlan, who entered the game as a pinch hitter was on first. Coghlan came all the way around on the play and was heading for a collision with Cards catcher Yadier Molina. What happened next was absolutely amazing! Rather than try to jar the ball loose from Molina, Coghlin went airborne! He leaped over the St. Louis catcher and flipped his way onto home plate to give the Jays a 3-2 lead.
The game would go eleven innings, resulting in a 6-5 Toronto victory. Without a doubt, Chris Coghlan gets this week’s play of the week, and could be a finalist for play of the year!
Finally, I need to be old school for a moment. On the heels of Trea Turner’s cycle last night I have to turn my attention to another exciting rarity, the no-hitter. To me there is nothing more exciting in baseball than watching a pitcher go deep in a game without either allowing a baserunner or giving up a hit.
With the focus on pitch counts in today’s game I’m really concerned that a complete no hit ballgame may be on its way to extinction. Locally I have seen this happen twice. Marlins pitchers Dan Straily and Wei Yin Chen both had no-no’s in progress when they were taken out because they had reached their pitching limit. C’mon, really??? What would have happened if Turner was pulled because he had too many at-bats last night? If a pitcher has something special going, let him try to finish it!
Time for a program note. After tonight’s blog, Wednesday Night Baseball will be on hiatus and will return on Wednesday night May 17. This will allow me some time to spend with my new granddaughter as well as my daughter and son-in-law. The Sunday blog will publish as usual this weekend.