Some of you may or may not be familiar with the 1973 film adaptation of the classic children’s book Charlotte’s Web. Alongside other classics like The Sandlot and Angels in the Outfield, this was a staple of my family’s movie selection when I was a little tater-tot. There’s honestly not a lot about the film I remember, aside from one single line: “a veritable smorgasbord.” Fat Templeton the Rat coined this phrase in reference to the bounty of food available to an animal such as himself after the hominids vacated the premises of a fair, particular of the country county fair sort. Never ones to be held hostage by the bondage of a phrase’s original meaning, my family has since used “veritable smorgasbord” to describe any number of bountiful blessings bestowed upon us, be it of food or anything else. This particular morning of September the 10th in the year of our Lord 2014, I was indirectly presented with one veritable smorgasbord of terrific baseballing performances to choose from for my players of the day. I say indirectly as the players were ostensibly not playing for me in particular, but rather for the larger body of fans in general, or perhaps just for their own paycheck. Nevertheless, these performances presented me with ample players from which I could make my selections, and make my selections I did and am now presenting them here for you, the reader(s).
RAW PERFORMANCE PLAYER OF THE DAY
I’m just going to be honest right from the get-go: this is more of a hat tip. Yes, the player I’m about to mention did have a terrific performance. What he did, while certainly involving some amount of what some refer to as “luck” and others as “random variation,” is not a common feat, but it is far from being as rare or impressive as what our contextual player of the day did. However, I eschewed the typical POTD paradigm yesterday, and as such, it would be inappropriate for me to do so again today. Therefore, our hat tip performance of the day goes to Josh Donaldson and his 5 hit game. Great job, Josh. Ya earned it.
CONTEXTUAL PLAYER OF THE DAY
Grantland’s baseball dictionary (which is a really great read if you ever get the chance) requires that a Maddux be a complete game shutout requiring less than 100 pitches. Because he did give up a solo homerun, Yusmeiro Petit’s 84 pitch gem against the Arizona Diamondbacks does not qualify as a Maddux, but I would argue that his performance was of equal magnitude of impressiveness. He scattered 4 hits, one of which being said solo homerun, no walks, and 9 strikeouts among those 9 innings, helping the Giants to solidify their playoff hopes and nudge along their division winning hopes. I will happily admit I didn’t think the Giants had a chance at catching up once the Dodgers passed them in the standings, but with only 2.5 games separating them and about 17 games left to play, anything could happen. As long as they’ve got guys who can pitch games like this, we can’t count them out of the race. By the way, check out Yusmeiro’s snot rocket at around 42 seconds into the video. Stuff like that is why it’s important to watch the games, rather than just playing with your little stats all day.