Only the second full day of the season and we've already had a near-perfect game. Against the Astros no less. If this kind of thing keeps up, 2013 could be a very exciting year.
For Darvish's gem, at least we can appreciate that it was broken up on a solid single up the middle. The ball did go through Darvish's legs, but it wasn't exactly a Buckner situation. It would have taken a superman feat from Darvish to make that stab. The question I always have when watching something like that bottom of the ninth in Houston: why were the Astros (or any team being dominated like that) so eager to swing early in the count? If that grounder by Gonzalez had been vacuumed up by the shortstop, Darvish would have completed that ninth inning in only four pitches. It seems to me that, when you've proven yourself to be that powerless against the pitcher, it might be a good idea to either tire him out some or just wait to see if he'll make a mistake. Then again, teams that can show that kind of patience aren't typically one out away from a perfect game to begin with.
But enough about dominant pitching performances. Let's get to the trots!
Home Run of the Day: Pete Kozma, St. Louis Cardinals – 18.93 seconds [video]
As Ben wrote, Matt Holliday golfed a ball into left field in this game. There were also mammoth home runs from Yoenis Cespedes and Troy Tulowitzki hit on Tuesday. Ian Kinsler's bomb in Houston helped make Yu Darvish's near-perfect game that much closer to a reality. Even with all of that, I can't rightfully put any home run but this blast to center field from Pete Kozma at the top of the list. The ball lands 400 feet away into one of the deepest parts of Chase Field—and smacks a fan in the face! Now, I know that's a horrible thing, but, don't worry, she was fine. What makes the video so great to watch is how her husband/boyfriend/companion completely jumps out of the way of the ball only to see it hit her a moment later. Nice reaction!
That's probably not what they were expecting would happen when they got to their seats at the start of the game.
Slowest Trot: Ian Kinsler, Texas Rangers – 28.36 seconds [video]
It was still 1-0 nothing in the top of the seventh when Kinsler connected on this shot down the left field line. The towering fly ball hung on the line the full length of the field before finally hitting the foul pole about three-quarters of the way up. It wasn't until then that Kinsler actually began his trot around the bases. Instead, he had been slowly walking up the baseline, bat still in hand, waiting to learn where the ball would land. As with many home runs that take forever to land fair, Kinsler's slow trot wasn't so much about him running slow as it was about him awaiting the call.
The second slowest trot of the day belonged to Carlos Gonzalez, who, for the second day in a row, seemed to strut out of the box after connecting on the long ball.
Quickest Trot: Pete Kozma, St. Louis Cardinals – 18.93 seconds [video]
Kozma was rounding second when he took a quick glance at the center field wall where the ball landed. He must have seen some of the hullabaloo his home run caused because, two steps later, he turned his head again and took a longer stare at the wall, as if he was trying to see what was happening out there. Alas, there isn't much you can do while running around the bases, especially on the night's quickest trot.
Tampa Bay's Ben Zobrist had the second quickest trot of the night. At 19.31 seconds, it was the only other trot to clock in under 20 seconds.
All of Today's Trots Ian Kinsler........28.36 Carlos Gonzalez....24.59 Chris Davis........24.13 Matt Wieters.......23.4 Matt Holliday......22.45 Michael Morse #1...22.31 Michael Morse #2...22.23 Asdrubal Cabrera...21.91 Troy Tulowitzki....21.84 Jon Jay............21.76 Ryan Braun.........21.67 Miguel Montero.....21.5 Yoenis Cespedes....20.65* Ben Zobrist........19.31 Pete Kozma.........18.93
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