If Jesse Chavez was a split second slower or Michael Saunders’ line drive was hit a hair differently, this could have been a scary moment. Instead, it’s an incredible defensive play.
In the 4th inning of Monday night’s game in Oakland, Saunders hit a screamer right at Chavez on the mound. Luckily, Chavez was able to get his glove up in time — not only was he able to save himself from getting hit in the head, but he made the catch to end the inning. Chavez was knocked to the ground on the play, and after the initial shock wore off, he picked himself up and walked off, visibly letting out a sigh of relief.
Chavez continued to pitch into the 6th inning, but left the game with Oakland trailing, 4-3. The slender right-hander has been one of the bigger surprises in the American League to this point — even after surrendering 4 runs on 7 hits to the Mariners Tuesday night, Chavez is carrying a 2.47 ERA and has struck out 44 batters in 43.2 innings, walking just 10.