While searching for a featured image to pair with my earlier post on Kyle Schwarber’s transcendent awesomeness, I decided to pause the video of his game-tying 9th-inning homer Tuesday night and get a screengrab. Well, that led to me taking another and another and another, five in total.
Moving pictures are great, but sometimes it’s cool to slow things down a bit more and take them in without all the action. This is decidedly lo-fi, but the Cubs off night has left me with more than enough time to indulge in a mini project that is basically the blogging equivalent of empty calories. Because, you know, posts about jersey sales are real health food.
In this first shot, we can see that the ball is already out of the frame despite the fact that Schwarber hasn’t even finished his follow-through, nor has J.J. Hoover landed from throwing the pitch. Brayan Pena is still waiting to catch it, though it’s never good when your mitt is positioned right over the heart of the plate. And just look at that extension. Sexy.
My favorite part about this still is that we can triangulate the ball’s position by following the skyward gazes of the three men in the frame. You can see that Schwarber has achieved some pretty significant elevation via a serious uppercut. His posture just screams, “Tater!” Hoover’s on the other hand, mumbles something like, “Oh, poop.” Maybe worse.
This one I like to call “Gwen Stefani’s Old Band Times Three” because these guys all have no doubt the ball is gone. Pena’s all “Dude,” Hoover’s like “Guh,” and Schwarber’s all “Yeah, I’mma just stand here for another moment or two and watch her fly. Hope you boys don’t mind.”
Not sure how many of you have seen or remember Best of the Best, easily one of the greatest movies about an American Tae Kwon Do team travelling to Korea to compete in a tournament, but this reminds me of a scene from that flick. Forced to break bricks to settle a tied match, Chris Penn’s Travis Brickley has clearly lost but is forced to watch the referee count his opponent’s bricks anyway.
Hoover is Brickly in this case, just waiting for the ball to land and mercifully end his suffering. Too bad for him the moonshot had re-enter the atmosphere after almost being placed into geosynchronous orbit. Luis Valbuena wouldn’t approve of the bat flip, but I find quite profound in its subtlety.
And here we have Schwarber finally starting his trot, his gaze still trained on a ball that has yet to land. By now, Hoover’s resignation has morphed into quiet admiration as he realizes that being laid low by such a force is really nothing to be embarrassed about. As result of his awe, I doubt the fact that the game is now tied has even registered yet.
This last picture is actually the first one in which I took notice of the prescient Wonderful Pistachios ad in the backstop. Get crackin’ indeed. Also, Kyle Schwarber is nuts.