Man, do we love awesome defense here at TOC. From homer robbing catches to single stealing throws, we’re going to cover it all at TOC each week. Today, we’re going to be covering the first ten or so days of the season, and we’ll continue doing this each Thursday throughout the regular season. Cool? Cool.
April 1st, Rockies vs Marlins – stop it, Tulo.
This play by Troy Tulowitzki was pretty gross. Look how far over in the hole he was! Tulo had absolutely no time to stop and fire a throw to first, so he winged it over there in mid-air and got Marcell Ozuna (a decent runner) by half a step. Nice stretch by Justin Morneau, too – how Ozuna didn’t smash into him is anyone’s best guess.
April 2nd, Red Sox vs Orioles – Dustin Pedroia is off-balance.
Dustin, you’re on the wrong side of the bag. It’s pretty incredible that Pedroia even made this play, let alone was able to fire a strike to Mike Napoli at first while falling *away* from second base.
April 2nd, Cardinals vs Reds – Zack Cozart saves the day.
It’s a bird! It’s a plane! No, it’s…Zack Cozart? This shouldn’t have happened – diving away from the infield? C’mon Zack, stop showing off. I’ll give him some extra points here for the “clutch” aspect of it – man on second with two outs in the eighth inning of a scoreless game? Niiiiiiice.
April 3rd, Twins vs White Sox – Adam Eaton, meet the wall.
New Chicago White Sox center fielder did his best impression of Aaron Rowand on this catch, smashing face first into the center field wall after grabbing this long fly ball hit by Oswaldo Arcia.
April 5th, White Sox vs Royals – concentrate, Jose.
Jose Abreu and Adrien Nieto did their best impression of Pete Rose and Bob Boone in the 1980 World Series on this play, though Abreu somehow managing to catch the ball between his legs is really not something you see every day.
April 5th, Braves vs Nationals – B.J. Upton has a cannon.
The Braves’ B.J. Upton hasn’t hit at all this year, but he’s still got something going on with his arm. This may be the best throw we’ve seen in this brief 2014 season – an absolute laser from center field to nail Jose Lobaton at home plate. Wow.
April 6th, Mariners vs Athletics – dumb luck for Sonny Gray.
What’s going through your mind on this play if you’re Sonny Gray? “Oh crap, that’s a double, I’d better cover the play. Wait, is that the ball? How did Moss get to it? OK then, I’ll take the out…” Concentration + luck = an easy out.
April 9th, Rays vs Royals – Alcides Escobar’s juggling show.
When you’re a young kid in Little League, coaches always tell you to keep your eye on the ball. Alcides Escobar did that to a ridiculous degree here, somehow not losing the ball while looking at it over his shoulder and also not losing it when it bounced out of his glove. It also takes some serious guts to slide feet first with your back facing the infield.
April 9th, Brewers vs Phillies – Ben Revere, full extension.
This ball looked like it was going to fall in right off of Scooter Gennett’s bat. Well, don’t tell that to Ben Revere, who defied gravity to make this grab. He started this play in left center, and made the catch in shallow right center. That is *impressive*.
April 9th, Mets vs Braves – your obligatory Andrelton Simmons play.
Simmons is one of those guys that can make a play look impressive even when he screws up. He makes the play, slips onto his butt, and still manages to throw Travis d’Arnaud out from one knee. I almost think he’s doing this just to troll us at this point.