That's the number of GIFs I made this past season. It takes me about five minutes to make a GIF.
224 x 5 = 1120 minutes of GIF making this past season. 18 and a half hours spent making GIFs for you wonderful readers.
David! We need to talk...
Anyways, it's that time of year when media outlets review the year. They put together top whatever lists and try to predict the future. This post is no different. Below you will find TCB's Top 30 GIFs of 2013, except I'm not counting them down and really they're just my favorite GIFs from this past season. Unlike the other lists I wanted to present these in chronological order. I think it's a little more fun that way.
With that, lets begin.
Crowe Face - Spring Training
This GIF foreshadowed what would become of the Astros season. I let out that same sigh of relief after the Astros played their last game.
I got it! I got it! EEEEK! - Seattle April
This was a home run ball hit by Chris Carter. An Astros fan was in position to make a play then freaked out at the last minute. Apparently, the only Astros fans left are wussy's (I can say that because I would have done the same thing or worse been smacked in the face with the ball).
The Year of the Shift - Seattle April
The Astros shifted the fifth most in the major leagues last year, much to the angst of Lucas Harrell. As a result they netted a -1 in runs saved thank to the shift. Maybe he's on to something.
Catch of the Year, maybe even century - Seattle April
No player or fan matched the catch that this guy made and I don't think it'll be matched for quite sometime so drink it in.
Lucas Harrell Strikes out the Side - Los Angeles April
Harrell walked only one more batter than he struck out. Here he struck out three Angels in an inning.
The Legend of Paul Clemens - Oakland April
Paul Clemens tried to make a play on a ball hit back up the middle, instead of making the play he dislocated his finger. What did he do? He had the trainer pop it right back in and then went out and got the next guy to ground out. Full details are here:
Justin Maxwell Dives - Oakland April
Maxwell had two things going for him, power and defense. Here he flashes the leather and makes an amazing catch.
Jeff Luhnow is Watching You - Oakland April
I imagine calculations and scout reports being processed in his head like a computer.
Matt Dominguez Becomes the Superhero Known As MattyD! - Houston April
He's so smooth at the hot corner. The defensive metrics for Matt Dominguez disagree: -2.4 UZR; 8 DRS. Watching Dominguez, however, I can tell you his defense is on the positive side and a joy to watch.
Double Play of the Year - Houston April
Jose Altuve may lack range, but man can he turn a double play. In fact if you're looking for a bright spot in the Astros season look to the Astros ability to turn the double play. They turned 414 double plays, which ranked fourth in the major leagues, and had a +3 in defensive play runs, good for seventh in the major leagues.
Jose Veras Saves and High Fives Jason Castro - Houston April
Veras saved 19 games for the Astros in 2013. On July 29, he was traded to the Detroit Tigers for Danry Vasquez and David Paulino. This offseason, he and the Astros were in discussion for an encore, but he ended up signing with the Chicago Cubs.
Captain Collision Wins It For the Pirates - Pittsburgh May
I had never seen a walk-off error before, that is, until I saw Jimmy Paredes run into Jake Elmore, which caused him to drop a ball that allowed the Pirates to score the winning run. That wouldn't be the last time Paredes would strike either. Later that year he would run into Jose Altuve.
Just Having Fun - Houston May
I know people are down on Altuve after the season he had this year, but the guy plays with the kind of joy and hustle we want all our ball players to play with. Altuve stole 35 bases and had a 1.1 BSR this year.
The Foul Ball Toss - Los Angeles June
This was one of my favorite GIFs this year. I love the reaction from everyone and the synchronization of the catcher and umpire. It also describes how JD Martinez's season played out.
Astros Hit Six Home Runs In a Game - Houston June
Just watch the scoreboard. On June 5, the Astros took in to the Orioles by smacking six home runs. The six hitters were Jason Castro, JD Martinez, Jose Altuve, Matt Dominguez, Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Pena. The Astros would go on to win 11-7.
The Orioles React To Six Home Runs - Houston June
Julia Morales Is Awesome - Fish Market June
Julia Morales has quickly become one of my favorite personalities on CSN Houston. She alone could be the reason why you should be pissed about the unfortunate blackout last season. I love the reaction from the guy standing behind her.
Brandon Barnes' Defense Was A Bright Spot This Year - Tal's Hill June
I was listening to the most recent Joe Posnanski podcast and he made an interesting point about baseball. This is the only sport in which defense is exciting more times than not. Brandon Barnes was proof of that this year. In fact I would say the defensive GIFs I have are much more exciting than the offensive ones I have.
Carlos Pena Leans Back - Houston June
Carlos Pena was released July 31, 2013. Before he left, he gave the Astros a win with this three-run home run in extra innings on June 20.
Did I Mention Brandon Barnes' Defense? - Tampa Bay July
More Brandon Barnes defense. This time, a catch with traffic.
Jarred Cosart Major League Debut - Tampa Bay July
Jarred Cosart made his Astros debut July 21. In that debut he took a no-hit bid into the seventh inning against the Tampa Bay Rays. With one out, Ben Zobrist hit the above shot just past Altuve's glove. Cosart would get the next batter, Evan Longoria, to ground into an inning ending double play.
Cosart's final line: 8IP, 2H, 0R, 3BB, 2SO in 96 pitches.
The Future is Nigh - Future's All Star Game
While the All-Star break gave us a break from not watching the Astros, or Castro in the All-Star game itself, it did allow us to watch the Astros top two prospects face-off in the Future's All-Star Game. In the GIF above George Springer beats out a groundball hit to Carlos Correa: Springer 1, Correa 0.
Brandon Barnes' Cycle - Houston July (19)
Barnes provided all sorts of excitement for Astros fans this year. This time he did it on the offensive side of the ball. On July 19, he hit for the cycle against the Seattle Mariners. The last Astros to hit for the cycle, before Barnes, was Luke Scott, who did it on July 28, 2006.
Bo Porter Spins For The Win - Houston July (23)
The July 23 5-4 win over the Oakland Athletics was probably the most exciting one of the year. Not only did the Astros snap a six-game losing streak, but they also snapped a 12-game losing streak to the A's. Heading into the bottom of the ninth, the Astros were down 4-2 when Matt Dominguez at the plate with a runner on and no outs. He hit one of his 21 home runs on the year to tie the game. Later in the inning, with Jonathan Villar at second and Jose Altuve at first and Jason Castro at the plate with one out a ball in the dirt started the runners, but didn't get far enough away and Altuve was on an island. The ball was thrown to first base and got away from the first basemen. Jonathan Villar came around to score the winning run, prompting Bo Porter to go airborne.
Jonathan Villar Steals Home - Baltimore July
Villar's baserunning aptitude would be on display again eight days later when he stole home against the Orioles. The theft was so egregious that he was hit in the back of the head by the pitch.
Max Stassi Hit In the Face - Arlington August
Speaking of being hit in the face. Max Stassi made his major league debut this year and in his seventh plate appearance took a pitch right to the face. Not only did he take a pitch to the face, but he never feel to the ground either. When questioned by the training staff on who he was he said, "I'm Batman!"
Robbie Grossman Has Got Ups - Houston August
Grossman wanna make you jump. Jump!
Houston Fans Are The Best - Houston September
I am proud to say that this is a TCB reader.
Cody Clark Gets a Hit - Houston September
I remember watching Cody Clark in Spring Training and thinking, "Who is this guy?" He looked more like and assistant coach than a player. But after 10 years in the minors and some random chance, Clark made his big league debut at 31. He got his first walk on his seventh plate appearance. He didn't get his first hit until his 28th plate appearance. All you need to know about Clark as a person is the in GIF above of his teammates reaction to his first major league hit.
More MattyD! - Houston September
Dominguez was really fun to watch this year. This was the final GIF I made in 2013.