These were 10 moments from April, 2018 that reminded us why baseball is the greatest
It's hard to believe that the baseball season is already a month old. After all, we've had plenty of no-hitter challenges -- and a full-stop no-hitter. We've seen top prospects debut, veterans become stars (hello, Didi Gregorius) and games go 17 innings. Somehow, all that baseball was crammed into just a month.
Before we see what May has to offer, let's look back at the 10 best moments from April:
10. Opening Day
I hope you called out of work, stuffed your face with 1,000 hot dogs and celebrated the true ending of winter. Because this year, Opening Day saw action on the very first pitch, when
The day just built from there.
It was just one day, but it was one perfect day.
9. The Mariners told
Every year, there seems to be fewer burly home run hitters. So, to fill that hole in our hearts, there's Vogelbach.
Currently in Triple-A, his second career homer was the kind that will live on in memory. Not just because it soared above the "Hit it Here" sign, either:
It's because this blast brought intense joy to
The average plate appearance lasts about four pitches. Brandon Belt got a full game's worth of pitches in a single one when the Giants faced the Angels.
Though Belt ended the plate appearance by lining out, it was a symbol of endurance in the face of pointlessness. That's something we can all appreciate. (Though it did knock
It can only happen early in the season, when the weather is cool and the air is thick with moisture. That's right, we're talking the glory of snow baseball. And Rodney, the man with the tilted cap and love of plantains, showed off the childlike joy that we want every ballplayer to display. He ate snow mid-save:
6. Bartolo Colon's fight for perfection
Colon isn't supposed to be here. He's 44 years old and was in his rookie season the year that Ronald Acuña was born. Signed to a Minor League contract with a Spring Training invite with the Rangers, it was a long-shot for Colon to make the Majors this year. And when he did, it was supposed to be as a fill-in until the rotation returned to health.
Instead, Colon has started the year on fire, with a 2.87 ERA through the first month. His K/BB ratio is 10th in the Majors -- better than
Colon saved his best for Sunday Night Baseball. With Colon facing the Tigers'
Though it was broken up after a walk to
Plus, even the starter didn't have any beef with Reddick:
5. The Red Sox's hot start
The Red Sox started out an unreal 17-2. That's a 145-win pace over the course of a full season. And while they eventually came back to Earth, there was always that little voice in the back of the head that said, "Maybe this is for real."
Especially when they won a comeback game, like on April 8 against the Rays. The Red Sox were trailing, 7-2, and were down to their last out in the eighth inning when things got wild. With a runner on second, Boston started a barrage of hits with a double, single, double, single, wild pitch, single and double to turn the L into a W. It was a beautiful thing -- unless you were a Rays fan, that is.
Of course, the Red Sox weren't the only team to start the year hot. The D-backs have surprised many by leaping ahead of the NL West. The Mets and Phillies are battling for first place in the NL East. The Pirates are in a tight race for the NL Central. April is a month of hope -- and right now, almost every fanbase has some.
Paxton is from Canada, but nevertheless, something special happened at the Twins' home opener.
You see, the Twins had an eagle out on the field. Very patriotic.
The eagle then made a beeline (or perhaps ... a birdline?) for Paxton. It's the GIF that keeps on giving.
Some of the best Puerto Rican ballplayers, including Lindor and
This was a celebration; it was baseball at its finest.
2. Trout is Trout
Baseball players are supposed to get worse at defense as they age and their legs slow down. According to Statcast's Outs Above Average, Trout is already five outs better than last year.
Blessed with a strong batting eye, the Gaston-necked outfielder has stopped chasing pitches and started swinging at more pitches in the zone. He's also 5-for-5 on the basepaths.
All hail the Fish God.
1. Ohtani is great
Before the season began there was doubt. Hope, but doubt. In Ohtani's Spring Training appearances, he seemed lost on big league breaking balls. And while he could spin a few of his own, we didn't get to see the pitcher let loose.
Oh, how foolish we mortals were. On Opening Day, Ohtani laced a single. A collective sigh of relief emerged. We would not have to experience the national nightmare of an 0-for-30 stretch, with the endless questions of "should he only pitch?" Instead, Ohtani kept bashing. Three hits and a homer marked his next start at the dish. And then, he added a homer in each of his next two starts -- including one off reigning AL Cy Young winner
His pitching didn't disappoint either. His slider was sharp and his splitter is arguably the best in the game. Oh yeah, and his fastball can hit 101. The first two-way player since Babe Ruth somehow exceeded our already sky-high expectations.
Challenges will come for him. After all, the baseball season is about adjustments and then adjustments to the adjustments. We can't wait to see what happens next.