J.D. Martinez Hits Pinch-Hit HR Off Chris Sale On First Pitch Since June and Other Highlights

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J.D. Martinez Hits Pinch-Hit HR Off Chris Sale On First Pitch Since June and Other Highlights

Baseball Is Fun

Ichiro Suzuki remains just two hits shy of the heavily-sought after 3,000 hit club, but continues to fall short in his limited duty. Over the past three days, for example, he got three pinch hit opportunities against the Chicago Cubs, but failed to record a hit each time.

Although, to be fair, the first out was a screaming line drive down the right field line that was robbed by the first baseman and the third out, which came yesterday, was robbed by diving catch from shortstop Javy Baez. Ichiro will undoubtedly get there before the season is over, but I can’t wait for it to happen. Stop doing defense, Cubs.

Onto the highlights.

1. Holy cow, J.D. Martinez. You saw the title, so you know what this first highlight is all about. J.D. Martinez – on the disabled list since June 16 – was activated yesterday, but did not find himself in the starting lineup against the White Sox. After all, Martinez hadn’t faced big league pitching in nearly two months and Chris Sale was working for the Sox. But when James McCann was scheduled to lead off the eighth inning of a tie ball-game, Brad Ausmus elected to call upon his star outfielder so Martinez stepped up to the plate. Then, in the very first big league pitch he’s seen since the middle of June, J.D. Martinez crushed a go-ahead, game-winning, home run off of one of the best pitchers in the American League. Tigers win. Martinez is a hero. You honestly couldn’t write it up better than that.

2. Go away, Scott Schebler. By now, the Cardinals have got to be getting sick of Reds outfielder Scott Schebler. In case you missed it, Schebler just hit a walk-off, three-run home run out of the stadium, to give the Reds a ninth inning victory against the Cardinals on Tuesday night. Then, on Wednesday night, Schebler raced back to the right field wall, leaped, and robbed Jedd Gyroko of a home run in the top of the fifth inning. There are not many ways to become a home town hero, but walking off with a home run against a division rival the night before you rob a home run from a division rival is a great way to start.

3. How’d you do that, Tim Beckham? Yesterday, Tim Beckham made a pretty fantastic sliding catch into foul territory that I suspect was far more difficult than the video let on. If you can believe it, Beckham actually covered 70.4 feet (ranging to his left from first base) running at a max speed of 19.1 MPH. There usually isn’t that much room or time to get that up to that speed, but Beckham did something weird in this play. According to Statcast, Beckham had a first-step reaction time of -0.01 seconds, meaning that he started moving on that ball just before it was hit. Those instincts gave him the time to dial it up to 19+ MPH and the ability to cover all that ground. And then, of course, he made a fantastic sliding grab. This was just an unbelievable play.

Oh, and also from Last Night:

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Author: Michael Cerami

Michael Cerami covers the Chicago Cubs, Bears, and Bulls at Bleacher Nation. You can find him on Twitter @Michael_Cerami