Videos by OutKick
People head to the ballpark hoping to see offense and home runs. But pitching and defense remain an incredibly important part of the game. On Sunday afternoon, Major League Baseball had defense on full display as several MLB players posted ridiculous plays.
Let’s start with Toronto Blue Jays centerfielder Kevin Kiermaier. Kiermaier is known for his glove work and is a three-time Gold Glove Award winner (2015, ’16, ’19). On Sunday, he tracked down a long fly ball, timed his leap perfectly, and stole an extra-base hit from Baltimore Orioles hitter Gunna Henderson.
That’s not even the only incredible catch that Kiermaier made this weekend. He stole an extra base hit on Saturday, too, and teammate George Springer let him know.
Incredible athleticism on display here. Kiermaier catches these balls at the exact apex of his leap. Who says baseball players aren’t elite athletes??
MLB Play of the Year?
Next up, a ridiculous behind-the-back flip from Miami Marlins first baseman Garrett Cooper. Giants hitter Mike Yastrzemski hit a slow roller towards first base. Cooper and pitcher Jesus Luzardo aren’t quite sure who’s going to field the ball and who’s going to cover the bag.
Cooper takes a step toward first base then realizes he has to get the ball. His only play is to snag it with his bare hand and hit a running Luzardo with a behind-the-back throw. And he miraculously pulls it off.
That’s one of the best defensive plays you’ll see in baseball this season, quite frankly.
Lastly, in Atlanta, Seattle Mariners shortstop JP Crawford booted a hard-hit ground ball from Braves batter Austin Riley.
But Mariners third baseman Eugenio Suarez was Johnny-on-the-spot. He never gave up on the play and when the ball bounced into the air, he snagged it with his bare hand, fired a strike across the diamond to get the out and did it all in virtually one motion.
On any normal day, that might be the best defensive play. But the bar is very high for that Sunday. Though, it’s clearly the barehand, behind-the-back flip by Cooper.
Just an incredible display of hand-eye coordination.
Overall, an incredible day for defense in Major League Baseball.
Follow Dan Zaksheske on Twitter: @RealDanZak
One CommentLeave a Reply
“pitching and defense remain an incredibly important part of the game”
“That’s not even the only incredible catch that Kiermaier made”
“Incredible athleticism on display here”
“Just an incredible display of hand-eye coordination”
“Overall, an incredible day for defense in Major League Baseball”
Avoid repeating the same words. -Elements of Style