Deadly Defense in the NL Central And Other Highlights
First and foremost, it feels worth mentioning that Ichiro Suzuki collected his 3,000th hit last night – a stand-up triple, no less – at Coors Field. If you missed the hit, the history of the 3,000 hit club, or his thoughts on the matter, check out our post here.
Ichiro is cut from another cloth, friends, and what we saw yesterday was history in the making.
But a heck of a lot of other things happened yesterday too, and they won’t go unnoticed. In fact, three of the very best plays/highlights from last night were so good that I excluded them from these here highlights, because I plan on giving them some individual love later today. So keep an eye out, it should be a busy day.
Onto the (NL Central heavy) highlights ….
1. Braun’s Cannon. With two outs in the bottom of the first inning, Michael Bourne led off from second base, with his eyes set on scoring. Which is why, when Jake Lamb sent a grounder into left field, Bourne got on his horse, rounded third and headed for home. What he didn’t count on, however, was Brewers left fielder Ryan Braun making a 219 foot throw 92 MPH+ to nail him at the plate. It was a on hop, on the money throw, to nail a speedy Borne running around the bags. And let’s be clear, Bourne might not be the runner he used to be, but he still dialed it up to 19.5 MPH on that play. This was a pretty fantastic display of defense.
2. Phillips’ Quick Reaction. Brandon Phillips has long been one of the best defensive second basemen in all of baseball. With four Gold Gloves to his name, no one can take that from him. Yesterday, he showed everyone he’s still got it, by taking a freaky fast first step (-0.30) and covering a large distance (43.4 feet), before laying out and making a nice diving grab. This is definitely one of those players that looks easier, because of the person doing it. Trust me, this was anything but easy.
3. Hamilton’s Adjustment. Defense is about skills, instincts, practice, and ability, but that’s not everything. It’s also about adjustments. No matter how talented you are, how quick you react, how much you prepared, or how fast you can run, EVERYONE needs to make adjustments. Just ask Billy Hamilton – one of the fastest players in all of baseball. In the bottom of the third inning yesterday, Hamilton made some crazy last-minute adjustments to rob Eric Fryer of extra bases. Nobody’s perfect all the time, not even the pros.
Oh, and also from Last Night:
- Ben Revere makes the Willie Mays catch to save a run.
- Adrian Gonzalez hit his 300th career home run.
- Mark Teixeira makes a sliding stop, dives, tags the bag to get the out.
What you may have missed: