The first half of the Major League Baseball season has come and gone. In fact, it technically came and went weeks ago, as at this year's All-Star break teams have played 90-plus games already.
Weird baseball scheduling aside, the front nine of the 2018 campaign has yielded many highlight-reel plays. Let's take a look at 10 of the wildest, ranked in reverse order:
No. 10: Happ going yard on first pitch of 2018
Once you've seen one home run, you've kind of seen every home run. However, Ian Happ putting the very first pitch of the 2018 season into the seats was pretty ridiculous. Opening Day is a magical time, unless you're a Miami Marlins fan.
No. 9: Seager preserves no-hitter
There are better dives at third base (*glances at Nolan Arenado*). Heck, there are way better throws from the hot corner (*stares at Matt Chapman*). But preserving James Paxton's no-hitter through seven frames with Kevin Pillar busting it down the first-base line has to be up there.
No. 8: Odubel in the bushes
Sure, the catch happens right before the ball reaches the Citizens Bank Park shrubbery. The ball and Odubel Herrera just end up there afterward. And, sure, the wall isn't that high. But, damn, that's a slick grab to prevent Freddie Freeman from extending the lead.
No. 7: Hamilton's snag
At this point in his career, you could fill an entire resume in size 2 font with Billy Hamilton catches. It's exhausting how good this guy is defensively. Somehow, he makes covering 77 feet look easy.
No. 6: Gordon's diving stab
The first time you watch this highlight, the beginning looks like a pretty routine single up the middle for Ian Kinsler. There's nothing special about it at all as the center fielder starts coming in to play the bounce. But then, Dee Gordon appears out of nowhere. He sure seems to like his old position.
No. 5: Ichiro steals Jose Ramirez's homer
That's a 44-year-old legend out there, still robbing home runs. Baseball is going to miss Ichiro Suzuki. Also, not to be missed on this, Jose Ramirez entered the All-Star break tied for first in MLB with 29 home runs. He would have had 30 at the halfway point if Ichiro retired a few games earlier. Baseball is wild.
No. 4: Culberson's dive into the stands
The human highlight reel for the Atlanta Braves this year has unquestionably been Dansby Swanson. So it's fitting that his lookalike, Charlie Culberson, did his best Swanson impression, diving over the tarp and into the stands to make an insane grab.
No. 3: Pillar's larceny
Kevin Pillar now has a home-run robbery in center field to go along with his one in left field on Jackie Robinson Day in 2015. Nicholas Castellanos isn't even mad, he's just impressed. That's how you know it's a good one.
No. 2: Pillar steals second, third, and home
"Manufacturing runs" is one of those nebulous terms. Nailing down a specific meaning is difficult until you actually see it. Hitting a single before stealing second base, third base, and then home plate? Put this in the manufacturing runs hall of fame.
No. 1: Velasquez's ambidextrous adventure
Let's break this down. Vince Velasquez gets hit in the elbow by a comebacker, drops his glove, throws with his left hand (did I mention Velasquez is right-handed?), and fires an absolute laser to first base to record the out before collapsing on the ground in pain. The starter would end up leaving the game with training staff. And people say pitchers aren't athletes.