Juan Soto stares down at O’s Kremer after moonshot as ‘He didn’t like the shuffle’

Yankees Juan Soto stares down at O's Kremer after hittin a home run against the Orioles at Camden Yards on April 30, 2024.

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In a high-stakes clash between the New York Yankees and the Baltimore Orioles at Camden Yards, tensions flared between Yankees slugger Juan Soto and Orioles pitcher Dean Kremer following a colossal home run by Soto on Tuesday night.

After Juan Soto’s thunderous 447-foot blast in the sixth inning, a mammoth shot that ultimately proved futile in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss, the dynamic hitter’s gaze shifted from the cheering crowd towards Kremer on the mound. A demonstrative bat flip punctuated the moment before the slugger circled the bases, occasionally locking eyes with the opposing pitcher.

When asked about the exchange later, Juan Soto downplayed the situation, calling it “part of the game.” He elaborated, acknowledging a level of back-and-forth between himself and Kremer. “He didn’t like the shuffle,” Soto revealed, referencing his signature move after taking an inside cutter on a 2-1 pitch earlier in the at-bat. “I bet he didn’t like the homer, too,” the Yankese star added with a hint of amusement.

The home run itself was a historic feat, marking the first of the season to land on Eutaw Street, a distance only achieved 122 other times in Orioles history.

Juan Soto stays professional despite the mindgame display

Kremer’s displeasure with Juan Soto’s batting routine may find resonance among others, yet the dynamic left-handed slugger appears disinclined to abandon his idiosyncratic pre-swing maneuvers.

The prodigious 447-foot blast against a 3-2 belt-high, middle-in sinker represented Juan Soto’s eighth round-tripper of the season, elevating his RBI tally to 25 through the initial 31 contests of the current campaign.

While Juan Soto maintained a professional demeanor in his post-game comments, the exchange with Kremer added a layer of competitive fire to the narrative of the game, hinting at the intense rivalry between the two teams.

Yankees Juan Soto hits a home run against the Orioles at Camden Yards on April 30, 2024.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees slugger graciously complimented Kremer’s pitching performance, which trimmed the hurler’s ERA down to 4.19 from 4.61.

“He’s got good stuff,” Juan Soto told. “His fastball is pretty good. He was throwing sinkers. Everything was moving the right way. But at the end of the day we hit the ball hard. Give him credit. He threw the ball really well, but he we hit the ball hard. We just couldn’t get the gaps.”

Heading into Tuesday’s contest, the two hadn’t built up much history. In three prior plate appearances, Juan Soto was 0-for-2 with a free pass against Kremer, who has been a fixture in Baltimore’s rotation since his 2020 big league debut.
In their latest battle, the slugger drew a walk, singled, and crushed his 8th longball of the year off Kremer before southpaw reliever Keegan Akin got him out on a routine fly to left in the 8th.
Did Kremer potentially chirp at Juan Soto about his trademark timing mechanics prior to the dinger?

“I don’t know,” he said. Ask him.”

Unfortunately, the Baltimore writers didn’t get wind of Juan Soto’s postgame comments in time to circle back with Kremer, who wasn’t asked to expound on the homer after detailing his 7-inning effort where he allowed just 2 solo shots and 2 singles while punching out 4 and issuing 4 free passes.

Juan Soto is known for his animated home run trots, but this particular celebration seemed to have some extra zest behind it.

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