Welcome to Football Friday, a baseball column by Connor. Each week I will dive into the previous seven days of baseball news, shout my opinion into the void, discuss some things about the Colorado Rockies, and generally just be a nuisance.
Nolan Arenado has somehow, someway improved his sterling 2015 at the plate. Finishing 2015 with 42 home runs and a .898 OPS, it looked like Nolan had hit his ceiling as a hitter and was either going to decline slightly or maybe hold steady as one of the better power bats in baseball.
Yet, he got better. He became a bonafide superstar in the league; he has people legitimately debating his MVP candidacy with Kris Bryant and Corey Seager. Nolan Arenado is totally, undebatably, good.
Being good means a couple things, one is that people will revel when you get beat by someone else. If you strikeout on a good pitch or screw up somehow, people will say “I thought he was good?” Another thing that happens is, you’ll make bad pitches look really, really bad. Nolan has done that time and time again this season. He has made bad pitches look really, really bad.
There are two pitches thrown to Nolan in the past seven days that are absolutely terrible. Pitches that I would hesitate to tell my mom about because she might faint, those kind of pitches. Let’s roast these pitches.
Pitch No. 1: Luke Weaver, Sept. 21
Let’s start with the most recent. Luke Weaver. Poor, poor Luke Weaver. Nolan steps into the box with the bases loaded and two outs, Weaver has a chance to escape a huge jam and keep the Rockies lead at one run through the first two innings. He’s struggled, but it’s not lost yet if he can get Nolan to roll over one.
He opens the at-bat with a cutter, a pitch that’ll move towards a right handed hitter and, by design, coax a bad swing and jam him on the hands. It’s a good opening pitch selection, even with a hitter like Nolan at the plate. Let’s see how Luke executes the pitch.
As you can see, Luke’s cutter starts in the middle and hangs there. Luke’s cutter is your friend Rodney who doesn’t know what a polite time to leave a party is so he’s hanging around until 1 a.m. while you try and clean up and go to bed. This cutter is a third wheel on a high school date, sitting in the front seat while a couple makes out in the back, asking questions about the latest Fast and Furious movie to the guy.
Nolan is the hero who puts this pitch out of its misery.
This pitch is so bad that Weaver’s gone to the illegal shop in Total Recall to wipe it clean from his memories. Luke would rather watch the third season of House of Cards than relive this pitch. Heck, I think this pitch would too.
This pitch comes out like it’s out of a pitching machine. Clocked at only 90 mph, it’s basically a lob from your dad on the practice field. Nolan should honestly be commended for not getting so surprised on this pitch that he walked away, thinking it had to be a mistake and timeout was called.
This pitch is Season 7 of The Office, this pitch is so bad it works in the Hollywood office that suggested Zack Snyder should make the DC Universe. This pitch is a crowded subway train on a humid day. Nobody is happy about it; they mostly just feel bad.
Pitch No. 2: Edwin Jackson, Sept. 17
This game is mostly remembered for the amazing performance from Jon Gray, but let us not forget that Edwin Jackson threw a pitch that would be politely referred to as “crap”.
It’s the first inning, Carlos Gonzalez stands on first base, it’s a 3-1 count to Arenado. Edwin doesn’t want to walk Nolan so it’s absolutely a fastball count, giving Nolan a pretty good advantage in the situation. Jackson does indeed throw a fastball, hoping to paint it on the outside corner. He’s hoping that he misses away from the strike zone, so either Nolan’s walking to first or it’s a 3-2 count. Let’s see how this pitch goes.
As you can see from the photo, Edwin doesn’t miss outside, he releases early and he misses in the middle of the plate. Nolan might as well have caught the ball, walked it into the outfield, and thrown it over the wall. That might have been less embarrassing than what actually happened to that pitch. Arenado crushed it 444 feet. Jim Ross of WWE would’ve lost his damn mind watching that pitch get hit, screaming about how it had a family. “OH MY GOD JERRY, NEVER IN MY LIFE HAVE I SEEN A MAN ASSAULT A BASEBALL LIKE THIS ONE.”
This pitch is so bad, Brad Pitt is thinking of using it in his PR comeback campaign.
This pitch is worse than the Green Lantern movie; it’s so bad I honestly expected Edwin to come out after the game and say “I was mad at my team and wanted them to lose.” Edwin Jackson would literally be better off saying he threw this pitch on purpose, that’s how bad this pitch is.
Congrats to Nolan on another amazing season and for hitting these two horrible, no good pitches into the Upside Down.
★ ★ ★
This week, in the Purple Row store
In this section, I will use my creative skills to create something that I am proposing to sell this week in the Purple Row store. This week, I’m selling a shirt to signify when the Rockies score 7 runs and get us tacos for a dollar!
The 7 will look better on the actual shirt, I promise, this is just a rough design.
If you follow me on Twitter (which some of you do), you’ll know what this shirt is inspired from. It’s of course from Twitter user timbrodude, who sent three tweets in his entire Twitter life, one of which was “taco’s.” I retweet this TimBroDude tweet every time the Rockies score seven or more runs. It’s fun.
The reason I have this Tim tweet is because an online pal and Twitter legend, TomBroDude found this account one day and we all lost our minds that someone could also think of an account with BroDude in it, but also be one letter off from Tom. It was a great inside joke, one I used to start my own tradition.
This past weekend, in a great tragedy, TomBroDude passed away. I know this doesn’t have anything to do with the Rockies, but it’s my column. Tom was a comedic genius who constantly had me laughing, beyond that he was a great guy. Tom and I spoke sparingly and we weren’t that close but whenever we spoke I always felt like Tom cared deeply about what I had to say and who I was. I’ll miss Tom, for his laughs and his love.
RIP Tom. You’ll live on in so many ways, I’ll always think of you when the Rockies score a bunch of runs.
taco's— tim mendoza (@timbrodude) July 22, 2009