This week’s best defensive plays of the week feature players crashing into walls, players getting awkward, and players unveiling cannons.
April 24th, Twins vs Rays – Desmond Jennings keeps the Rays alive.
Ninth inning, one out, runner on first, Rays down two…Desmond Jennings kept Tampa Bay in the game with this fantastic basket catch, complete with a crash into the wall. Unfortunately for Jennings, his Rays teammates couldn’t plate any runs in the ninth to elevate his catch even more.
April 25th, Royals vs Orioles – Alcides again.
Alcides Escobar is quickly becoming a staple in this weekly posts. Check out this diving stop and throw, made with the infield shifted. Pretty slick stuff, considering he wasn’t even playing in his normal position.
April 25th, Angels vs Yankees – wait, that’s not Mike Trout…
This was a real slick catch, even if it was essentially meaningless given the score at the time. But hey, the Angels will take what they can get from Shuck in the outfield.
April 25th, Rangers vs Mariners – walk off double play.
This play saved three runs, and the Mariners would have been down at least by two going into the bottom of the ninth. Justin Smoak had a split second to react and snare this liner, and somehow he did. Smacking the first base bag for the 27th out of the game was just the cherry on top.
April 26th, Angels vs Yankees – Jacoby gets awkward.
When Jacoby Ellsbury dove for this ball, it almost looked like he overran it. At any rate, it was quite a slick play for Ellsbury to still snare it, even if his arm was completely extended and looking like it was about to snap in half.
April 26th, Athletics vs Astros – Reddick’s got a gun.
Defense includes throws, too. Josh Reddick threw out George Springer, who stole 46 bases in the minors last year, from the right field warning track. Oh, and his throw went into third base. Without a hop. That’s gross.
April 27th, Royals vs Orioles – David Lough goes all-out.
What the hell happened here? David Lough made this crazy catch, diving away from the field, grabbing the ball in mid-air, and hanging on to it as he hit the ground. This was just unreal.
April 29th, Braves vs Marlins – faked out.
You remember the outlawed fake to third, throw to first play? This play by Fernandez was the ol’ “fake to first, throw to home”, nabbing Tyler Pastornicky of the Braves on this tapper back to the mound. What a heads up play.
April 29th, Nationals vs Astros – no eyes necessary.
Part of this is skill, but most of this is dumb luck. Kevin Frandsen somehow grabbed this ball off the left field wall with his back turned and his head facing forward. I don’t even know what to say here – it’s just incredibly bizarre and crazy.
April 30th, Indians vs Angels – hey, that’s not Mike Trout…
J.B. Shuck is kind of a running joke for Angels fans, because he’s not Mike Trout but some people in the media still try to compare him to Trout. However, this catch from Wednesday afternoon was pretty great, and dare I say Trout-esque.