The Walk-Off Balk 4/1/18

Welcome to the first edition of The Walk-Off Balk, a different kind of daily recap. You can find a rundown of yesterday’s scores anywhere, but from the eccentric to the exciting, the WOB will ensure you don’t miss any of the moments that really matter. And because Twitter makes everything better, we’ll check in regularly with baseball Twitter as we go.

The Arrival of Shohei Ohtani

Shohei Ohtani made his pitching debut on Sunday. Fans and analysts were salivating as they watched his skills on display. There was a bit of hand-wringing over Ohtani’s Spring Training numbers (as much hand-wringing as there can be over 2.2 innings pitched). He gave up eight runs in those 2.2 innings, and most expected that it would take some time for Ohtani to adjust to the major league level.

Ohtani struck out six and surrendered three earned runs in six innings of work against Oakland. True, he was pitching against Oakland so success is expected. However, his early velocity got baseball Twitter all kinds of worked up.

If numbers don’t get you going, maybe this splitter will.

When Ohtani is on the mound this season, the baseball world will be watching.

The Twins are mad about…something?

Let me paint you a picture. It’s the bottom of the 9th. The Orioles are trailing the Twins by seven. Jose Berrios is putting together an impressive one-hit performance. Chance Sisco comes to the plate and the Twins setup in a fairly heavy shift. So Sisco did what more big leaguers should do when they see this kind of shift. He bunted for a hit.

And apparently, the Twins are mad about this?

So what exactly is Dozier (and other Twins players) upset about here? Berrios wasn’t working on a no-hitter. You could argue (though I’m not) that the Twins opting to shift in a game when they were up seven in the 9th was offensive. Bottom line, if you’re going to shift, players have the right to bunt against it.

Ken Griffey Jr., is that you?

If you happened to be watching Cleveland vs. Seattle on Sunday (and why wouldn’t you?), then you might have thought your eyes were deceiving you.

Dee Gordon, yes that Dee Gordon, was out doing his best Ken Griffey Jr. impression.

With today’s home run, Dee Gordon is on pace for 54 home runs this season. That would pretty easily eclipse his previous career high of four in 2015. Can you say launch angle revolution?

If Gordon keeps this up, it’s only a matter of time until…

Odds and Ends

A Miguel Cabrera bounce back?

Does A-Rod know water bottles have twist-off caps?

Don’t yell overrated at one of baseball’s best hitters

Aaron Judge has no chill

Have a story, video, or tweet that others need to know about? Send in your suggestions for the next Walk-Off Balk.

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