Houston Astros outfielder Michael Brantley may have made the play of the ALCS to end the top of the seventh inning of Game 6 on Saturday night.
The New York Yankees had a man on and one out in the inning, trailing by two runs and trying to rally to force Game 7. Outfielder Aaron Hicks hit a flare to short left field that looked like it was going to drop until Brantley charged in and made a spectacular diving catch.
Not only did he make an incredible grab, but Brantley had the awareness to get up quickly and throw a strike to first to double off Aaron Judge and end the inning.
Had the ball fallen, the Yankees would have had at least two on with one out and the go-ahead run coming to the plate. It’s not a stretch to say that it may prove a series-saving play.
The Yankees simply haven’t been getting the breaks in Game 6. They have six outs to try to score at least twice and save their season.
Anibal Sanchez wasn’t able to complete a no-hitter against the St. Louis Cardinals in Game 1 of the NLCS on Friday night, but Ryan Zimmerman did his best to help the effort.
Cardinals infielder Tommy Edman led off the bottom of the eighth inning with a line drive towards first. Zimmerman made an incredible diving catch to retire Edman:
What a play!
After seeing that effort from Zimmerman, one might figure it was the Washington Nationals’ night and that Sanchez would be able to complete it. Two batters later, though, outfielder Jose Martinez delivered a pinch-hit single for the Cardinals’ first hit of the night.
The Nats removed Sanchez from the game after that hit. He had thrown 103 pitches and allowed just the one hit and no runs, exiting with a 2-0 lead.
Nolan Arenado reminded fans on Monday night why he’s considered one of the best defensive players in the league.
The Colorado Rockies third baseman made a stunning defensive play against the Chicago Cubs using a slick backhanded glove flip. His former teammate, Carlos Gonzalez, was on first with nobody out in the top of the second, and Victor Caratini was at the plate. The shift was on and Caratini hit a chopper towards shallow shortstop. Arenado ranged to his left, snagged the ball with his backhand, and did a flip for the force out at second.
That type of backhanded glove flip is extremely difficult to execute, but he did it. That was a pretty move.
Arenado has won a Gold Glove all six of his MLB seasons. He’s also been an All-Star four straight years, led the league in homers three times, RBIs twice, and has finished top-5 in MVP voting three years in a row. He’s a complete player, which is why the Rockies gave him a massive contract extension.
Jackie Bradley Jr extended Wednesday’s game between the Baltimore Orioles and Boston Red Sox with a game-saving catch.
Orioles outfielder Trey Mancini represented the winning run when he came up to bat with one out in the bottom of the 11th inning. Mancini drove a ball towards the Orioles bullpen off of Ryan Brasier. It looked to everyone watching like the ball would go over the wall. Bradley had other ideas, as he tracked the ball and timed his jump perfectly to rob Mancini of a walk-off home run.
Bradley has become known for his exploits in the field. This is just another example of why he is a Gold Glove Award winner.
Kevin Pillar showed off his incredible glove with a spectacular catch on Saturday that robbed rookie Nick Senzel of a hit, and potentially his first career home run.
Senzel, who was playing in his second career game, belted a 3-2 pitch to deep center off Dereck Rodriguez in the bottom of the third inning of Saturday’s San Francisco Giants-Cincinnati Reds game. Pillar got back to the fence with enough time to climb the wall. He then held himself up to make the catch.
Here’s another angle:
Pillar was up so high that he had to adjust his glove downwards to make the catch, and it’s unclear whether the ball would have hit the wall or gone over the fence for a home run. Either way, it was a sensational grab.
This is the latest in a long line of spectacular catches by Pillar, many of which we’ve cataloged in the past.
Freddy Galvis made the early catch of the year in MLB.
Galvis ranged from his usual position of shortstop to left field to make a catch in the bottom of the 8th inning of Saturday’s Toronto Blue Jays-Oakland A’s game. Then he combined the best of Jim Edmonds and Kevin Mitchell with the barehand over the shoulder grab. Take a look:
We’re not even sure how he did it.
Josh Phegley can’t even be mad about losing a hit on the play; he just needs to tip his cap to Galvis for the incredible play. And as if the catch weren’t enough, Galvis went 2-for-5 at the plate with an RBI in the Jays’ 10-1 win.
The Milwaukee Brewers won their Opening Day game against the St Louis Cardinals on Thursday thanks to some magic from Lorenzo Cain.
Cain robbed a home run for the final out of the game to give the Brewers a 5-4 win at home. Take a look:
Jose Martinez came in to pinch hit and drove a Josh Hader pitch to deep right-center field that looked like it would go for extra bases if not be a home run out of the park. But Cain ended the game with a spectacular grab.
Milwaukee got home runs from Mike Moustakas, reigning NL MVP Christian Yelich, and even pitcher Jhoulys Chacin in the win. Cain went 1-for-4 at the plate and scored a run in addition to his great grab.
Andrew Benintendi robbed Brian Dozier of a hit during Game 2 of the World Series on Wednesday, and he struck a great pose in the process.
Dozier led off the top of the fifth inning by driving a ball to left field off Boston Red Sox starter David Price. Benintendi sprinted to his right and leaped to make a spectacular catch in front of the Green Monster.
Benintendi caught air on the catch and looked like the Air Jordan “Jumpman” logo.
We’ve seen some great poses struck in sports photos recently, but this is one of our favorites.
Cody Bellinger robbed Lorenzo Cain of a hit in the top of the 10th inning during Game 4 of the NLCS on Tuesday night between the Los Angeles Dodgers and Milwaukee Brewers, and the Twitter reactions were spectacular.
Cain led off the top of the 10th with a flare into right-center field off Kenley Jansen that looked like it would fall for a hit. Bellinger came flying in out of nowhere to make a diving catch and went gliding across the grass afterwards. Take a look:
The Twitter reactions and captions were strong:
Not bad for a guy who has hardly played right field this season for the Dodgers. Not bad at all.
Houston Astros left fielder Tony Kemp robbed Steve Pearce of extra bases with a spectacular catch against the wall in left field during Game 3 of the ALCS on Tuesday.
Pearce was up with runners on first and second with two outs in the top of the third inning and took a 2-2 pitch from Dallas Keuchel deep to left. Kemp went back and made a leaping catch against the wall:
Kemp banged against the scoreboard as he made the catch, which caused some confusion. Boston thought that the ball had hit the wall first before going into Kemp’s glove, which would have erased the out and made it a live ball. They challenged the play and lost as the catch call was upheld.
Kemp’s catch helped keep the game close at 2-1 in favor of Boston.