Is there anything that can be said about Wednesday night's slate of games that isn't a string of one word exclamations? I mean, wow. (There is this, I suppose, but we can't all be Joe Posnanski.) Thankfully for us, the long ball played an important role in one or two of these games.
Let's get to those trots!
Home Run of the Day: Dan Johnson, Tampa Bay Rays – 19.73 seconds [video] and Evan Longoria, Tampa Bay Rays #2 – 20.46* seconds [video]
It's impossible to choose between these two. After being down 7-0 early in the game, Tampa Bay got themselves back into the game with a six-run rally in the eighth inning. With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the ninth inning – the Rays season seemingly on the line – Johnson laced a game-tying home run around the rightfield foul pole. It was his first home run since April. Three innings later, Evan Longoria laced another home run around the leftfield foul pole, giving the Rays an improbably comeback on top of an improbably comeback. Only three minutes earlier, the Red Sox had lost their game in walkoff fashion to the Orioles, meaning Longoria's home run was a Wild Card-clincher.
Trot-wise, you can't beat Longoria's sprint around the bases into the mob of teammates at home plate. Johnson was quick, but it's not enough to top Longoria. Of course, the mob was so big on Longoria's trot that finding the precise moment he touched home plate is practically impossible.
Slowest Trot: Jhonny Peralta, Detroit Tigers – 25.67 seconds [video]
The AL Central Division champions Detroit Tigers also won last night, thanks in large part to this eighth-inning, go-ahead shot from Peralta. Detroit ends up with the third seed in the American League, though, with the Rangers' victory over the Angels Wednesday night giving them homefield advantage.
Quickest Trot: Dustin Pedroia, Boston Red Sox – 18.12 seconds [video]
For a long time Wednesday night, this looked like it could be the Home Run of the Day. After the Orioles took an early 2-1 lead in their bid to complete Boston's historic collapse, Pedroia put the Sox on top with this fifth-inning shot. The excitement is evident in his day's-fastest trot. Of course, forces conspired later in the game keep Pedroia out of the top spot and relegate his trot to merely "Quickest of the Day".
Production note: The Tater Trot Tracker is not yet done. There will be updates during the playoffs. There are also year-end stats and reviews to get to (though those might be a week or so in coming as I compile everything together).
All of Today's Trots Jhonny Peralta....25.67 Jai Miller........21.05 James Loney.......24.8 J.J. Hardy........20.61 Mike Napoli #1....24.5 Evan Longoria #1..20.47 Cole Gillespie....24.34 Evan Longoria #2..20.46* Allen Craig.......24.24 Dan Uggla.........20.25 Andruw Jones......23.57* Corey Hart........20.18 Mike Napoli #2....23.02 Jonathan Lucroy...19.86 Mark Teixeira #2..22.89 Dan Johnson.......19.73 Matt Kemp.........22.15* Henry Blanco......19.07 Mike Baxter.......21.6 Will Venable......18.28 Mark Teixeira #1..21.47 Carlos Gomez......18.25 Gordon Beckham....21.34 Dustin Pedroia....18.12 Nick Hundley......21.34
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