Thanksgiving is just two days away, and here, near the end of 2016, we can all immediately think of something to be thankful for!
Crickets: What are you looking at us for? The most popular and famous cricket ever just died. Go away.
But what’s the one thing we still have to hold onto? Pitcher dingers! Sweet, sweet pitcher dingers. Not as many pitcher dingers as last year, when this was a two part series, but hey, each one is a treasure and they should all be commemorated. Let’s get started!
April 9, Madison Bumgarner vs Clayton Kershaw
Fun fact: Madison Bumgarner has more career home runs against Clayton Kershaw than Clayton Kershaw has career home runs.
Fun fact: For every Cy Young that Clayton Kershaw has, Madison Bumgarner has a World Series ring.
Fun fact: Clayton Kershaw is a great, magnificent pitcher, and he’s also not enough for the Dodgers to win the World Series.
Fun fact: In this clip, the left fielder, Scott van Slyke, doesn’t make even a token effort to make a play. Those are the best kinds of homers. Just empirically, they make the homer at least three times as impressive. It’s so obvious the homer is gone that the fielder doesn’t even pretend to try. I really love that so much.
Fun fact: Lookit how far that ball went!
June 2, Madison Bumgarner vs Aaron Blair
“And now Bruce Bochy has to decide what he wants to do with Madison Bumgarner,” Duane Kuiper says at the beginning of this clip. In a sense, that’s reasonable, since Bumgarner is up with a guy on first and nobody out, and he’s a pitcher. In another, more accurate sense, there wasn’t ever really a decision at all. “And there’s your bunt sign,” Kuiper says later, after the homer. It seems fair to say that Madison Bumgarner will not be doing a lot of bunting anytime soon.
July 26, Matt Cain vs Cody Reed
Look, I love Matt Cain and I always will. At the same time, he hasn’t been actually good since 2012, which is so long ago that Matt Cain was actually good then. But here he is, swinging away and hitting the ball hard, as if he was still the Matt Cain that won all our hearts with his good pitching and stubborn yet kindly refusal to complain about his lack of run support. Way to hit the ball, Matt. It was fun.
August 18, Madison Bumgarner vs Jacob deGrom
Jacob deGrom, though going through a rough stretch here, is still one of baseball’s fantastic arms. He’s the kind of pitcher who you watch a little more carefully, whose starts you start paying attention to a couple weeks before his team plays your team just to see if he’s going to pitch in the series. And then he does! he does pitch in the series and it’s against your team’s ace, and then your team’s ace hits a dang home run against him. It’s a great feeling. Watch it over and over again and cherish it.