This September has been somewhat* disappointing, but it hasn't been totally bereft of happy moments. Chris Heston has looked pretty good, quick hook last night notwithstanding. There was also [mumbles indistinctly] and Tim Hudson. Tim Hudson, who made a surprise-ish start on Tuesday, pitched extremely well, and even hit a dang home run. It was the fourth home run of his career, but the first that I watched a replay of multiple times in order to capture screenshots of his teammates' smiles when he came back into the dugout. Those smiles seem pretty important. Let's look at them!
Grant embedded the video after the game Tuesday, but what, are you going to go all the way to some other thread to watch it? That's ridiculous. I'm here for you, friend.
1. Matt Duffy
Look at that ear-to-ear grin. He'd just told Bochy that Hudson would homer, and then Hudson did, and that kind of off-the-wall prediction actually coming through will thrill anybody. I like to believe that Duffy had never made that prediction before about anyone. At no point in his life did he ever say "Oh, he's gonna homer here for sure." And then, the first time, it comes through. This is the face of a man drunk on power, who hasn't yet decided if he will use his abilities for good. I hope he does. The world is counting on you, Matt Duffy. Be strong.
2. Bruce Bochy
Happy Bochy is a rare sight indeed. It was hard to sum up the thrill he got in just one picture, so I captured three, taken within a second or so of each other, to properly convey his mix of delight, disbelief, and "Oh, hey, things can go right sometimes." That's been easy to forget this September.
3. Hunter Pence
It's hard to sum up in one picture all the energy Pence put into his celebration. From jumping up and down hard enough to rejostle that oblique to the big hug to the broad smile seen here, he was a beacon of positivity and joy. It's hard to find a clubhouse leader like that. I hope there's one available in free agency, because a Pence-like presence on the field sure would have been helpful over the last month.
4. Mike Leake
Mike Leake hasn't been with the team that long, and already he's seen the Giants' odds plummet from 2012 Reds After NLDS Game 2 to 2012 Reds After NLDS Game 5. But as an old pro at watching teams play terribly (see: 2015 Reds), he knows you have to enjoy the good parts of a bad season. He also knows that the 2012 Reds had much better odds after Game 2 than the Giants ever did this year, but he doesn't want to think doubly unpleasant thoughts right now. Really, who could blame him?
5. Madison Bumgarner
Madison is extremely happy for Huddy! They became very close enough last year that when Bumgarner's lease ran out in mid-October, he and his wife stayed with Tim Hudson and his family for the rest of the postseason. And when your pal does something great, you celebrate! Even if he was just a teammate who Bumgarner's not that close to, he'd still be happy, but it means more because they're friends.
That smile is also saying "I've hit more dingers this year than you have in your life," but they can just leave that tacit.
6. Marlon Byrd
This is the face of a man who is both happy for his teammate and desperately trying to figure out if they'd ever been on the same team before. "I mean, I've been on, like, every team," he's thinking. "And Huddy's been around forever. At some point, our paths have to have crossed, right? Just playing the numbers? But I can't remember where. I better just give him a high five and shut up."
7. Hensley Meulens
It was hard to get a picture, but Sir Bam Bam was pumped. I like to imagine he took credit for the dinger. "Yeah, Huddy hasn't been taking BP, but, you know, that was my idea. He came up to me and said 'Hey, what group am I hitting in today?' and I said 'Your swing's good, don't ruin it with extra work.' All me, baby. All me."
8. Dave Righetti
Rags was on camera very, very briefly, but if you looked closely, you saw the face of ecstasy. Not ecstasy the drug, I mean, ecstasy the emotion. He's not generally very emotional on camera, but hey, he just watched Tim Hudson hit a homer. That's fun, dammit. It's the kind of fun that makes a lot of drab 2-1 losses worthwhile. What would have to happen for you to not enjoy that?
9. Juan Perez
Someone killed Juan Perez's cat.