It looks like that we’ve finally had a week of awesome defense – no more having to call relatively routine sliding catches plays of the week! This week, you’re going to see dives, home run robberies, and much more.
May 15th, Rays vs Angels – the return of Mike Trout.
Rumors of Mike Trout’s demise have greatly been exaggerated. He was shaded towards right center on this sinking liner, and made his diving grab look easy. He followed it up with a walk off homer in the ninth, the first of his career. Nice night for Mr. Trout.
May 16th, Mets vs Nationals – making it look easy.
Jayson Werth made this homer saving catch look easy. Yeah, it wasn’t some sort of incredibly athletic, ungodly play, but it saved the game for the Nationals, and he acted like it was no big deal. I love it.
May 16th, Marlins vs Giants – Giancarlo covering ground.
Look at how much ground Giancarlo Stanton covered here. His height also helped him make this catch – if he was two inches shorter, that ball would have missed his glove and Michael Morse would have ended up on second (and maybe third) with none out in the eighth inning of a tie game.
May 16th, Marlins vs Giants – same thing.
What I just said about Giancarlo Stanton’s height on the last play can be equally applied to Garrett Jones’ height on this play. If Jones is an inch or two shorter, that ball is probably bouncing in the dugout, and Hunter Pence is getting another shot to tie the game. Nice job by Jones to not lose his balance and crash into the dugout, too.
May 17th, Mets vs Nationals – free Lagares!
Hey Terry Collins, you know why you should be playing Juan Lagares every day? Because when he plays center field, stuff like this happens.
May 17th, White Sox vs Astros – they didn’t get him for his glove…
Chicago’s injury issues in the outfield resulted in them grabbing Moises Sierra off waivers from the Blue Jays. And hell, this was a pretty good catch that robbed extra bases from a speedy Marwin Gonzalez. But imagine if Dayan Viciedo was in right instead of left – Gonzalez might have had an inside the park homer.
May 17th, Orioles vs Royals – Alex Gordon is still a thing.
Alex Gordon’s lauded defense has seemingly taken a hit this year, but he can still make some nice catches. This was one of them, and he had to deal with the wall up the left field line here too.
May 18th, Rays vs Angels – the fill-in makes good.
With Desmond Jennings on the bereavement list for the Rays, Kevin Kiermaier is filling in for Tampa Bay in center field. And this catch that Kiermaier made to rob Erick Aybar of extra bases was pretty fantastic – he barely had any time to set his feet before making the leap!
May 18th, Pirates vs Yankees – Harrison potentially saves the game.
Eighth inning, no outs, runner on first, one run game…this catch by Josh Harrison quite possibly saved the game for the Pirates. If that ball falls in, the Yankees have runners on second and third with none out at the very least. That inning could have gotten very ugly, but Harrison made the catch and Tony Watson struck out the next two batters to end the threat.
May 19th, Reds vs Nationals – Wilson Ramos lays out.
This is the first of three outstanding plays from this game. This diving grab by Ramos came on the first play of the game, and he barely had any time to react to Billy Hamilton’s popped up bunt. Yet, he still came down with the ball for the out.
May 19th, Reds vs Nationals – Brandon Phillips saves it.
12th inning, winning run on third, two outs…and Brandon Phillips laid out to save Cincinnati’s bacon. But that wasn’t all…
May 19th, Reds vs Nationals – Billy Hamilton saves it.
14th inning, winning run on third, two outs…and Billy Hamilton laid out to save Cincinnati’s bacon. The Reds scored twice in the 15th to take the lead, and held on to win despite allowing a run in the bottom of the inning.
May 20th, Diamondbacks vs Cardinals – concentration.
The catch itself here by A.J. Pollock wasn’t out of this world – hell, Jim Edmonds made catches like that look old hat during his tenure in St. Louis. But the concentration Pollock showed to back hand the ball after dropping it to still record the out? Yeah, that was pretty extraordinary.
May 21st, Phillies vs Marlins – Stanton has leather, too.
Giancarlo Stanton is known for his bat rather than hit glove. And while this game ended up as a blowout, it was only a two-run game when Stanton’s diving catch saved three runs for the Marlins. Who knows how the game would have turned out if Stanton didn’t make this play?
May 21st, Twins vs Padres – stay with it.
We’ll close out our post with another play that required some intense concentration. This ball deflected pretty high into the air off of Jedd Gyorko, and if it hit the ground, there was no way he was getting the out. But Gyorko grabbed the ball out of mid-air, fired to first, and got the out by half a step.