After I claimed that the Cespedes throw was the best I’ve ever seen, a commenter made a great point: the best part of the throw was that it inspired everyone to seek out great examples of other throws and share video. Which is totally correct. Ranking things subjectively can be fun, but why bother when we can just have some outfield assist porn?
There were five throws from four players which kept coming up in comments and on Twitter this morning: Bo Jackson nailing Harold Reynolds, Jose Guillen’s “mutant throw” from right to nail a runner on third, a Vlad Guerrero missile from back in his Expos days and two throws from Rick Ankiel in the same game, with the idea that quantity matters too.
Hard to argue with any of them, really. And of course it’s hard to judge these or Cespedes’ throw against old school throws which went down before video of great plays became as commonplace as they are these days. Personally I think Guillen’s is the most impressive due to the distance and how rarely you see someone nailed at third by the right fielder compared to base runners getting nailed at home. But like I said, it’s hard to argue.
But why argue? Let’s just watch:
All of them great, and I’m sure there are many others which match them. But I hope we can all agree on something: watching cool throws like this is way better than any home run highlight reel.
Brewers starter Gio González was forced to exit his NLCS Game 4 start against the Dodgers in the second inning after twisting his left ankle attempting to field a comebacker hit by Yasiel Puig. González leaped, deflected the ball and twisted his ankle landing, then went after the ball but Puig reached base easily.
The Brewers’ trainer and manager Craig Counsell came out to the mound to observe González throwing some practice pitches. He was clearly in pain but was allowed to stay in. He threw one pitch to Austin Barnes and very visibly grimaced after completing his wind-up. Counsell came back out to the mound and took a visibly upset González out of the game. Freddy Peralta came in relief to finish out the at-bat. González probably shouldn’t have been allowed to stay in the game in the first place, but sometimes a player’s competitiveness is enough to convince a manager and a trainer.
Upon entering, Peralta issued a walk to Austin Barnes, then got the first out when Rich Hill laid down a mediocre bunt, allowing Peralta to get the lead runner at third base. Peralta struck out Chris Taylor and walked Justin Turner to load the bases with two outs. Dodgers manager Dave Roberts opted to pinch-hit for David Freese with Max Muncy, who struck out looking. Peralta was somehow able to slither out of the jam.
Gonzalez pitched two innings in NLCS Game 1 on Friday. He was quite good after joining the Brewers in a late-August trade with the Nationals, compiling a 2.13 regular season ERA in five starts with his new club. The Brewers will likely provide an update on his status after Tuesday night’s game.