On the eve of our Independence Day, in a tied baseball game at the bottom of the ninth, a two-time World Series champion second baseman made the defensive play of the year thus far. Could anything in sports be more American?
The game between the Boston Red Sox and the Texas Rangers on Monday night was close from the start, but things got truly interesting when the Rangers, who entered the inning down 5-4, tied it up on a solo home run by Mike Napoli with no outs.
That’s when outfielder Carlos Gomez stepped up to the plate and hit a tricky dribbler down the third base line toward Deven Marrero, who made a desperate but errant throw to Mitch Moreland on first. Gomez should’ve been safe by a mile, even after overrunning first base. But he understandably began to round the corner to second once he saw the ball take the bad bounce.
What he didn’t count on was an incredible display of defensive prowess by Dustin Pedroia, who had shifted over behind first base in anticipation of the play. Stationed in shallow right field, Pedroia was within diving distance of the bouncing ball. And dove he did.
While falling, Pedroia managed to corral the ball and make the off-balance throw to Moreland for the bang-bang play to tag Gomez out before he could make it back. It’s a baseball 101 play, but it’s also way easier said than done and very rarely works out after a ball takes a bounce like it did. It took both Pedroia and Moreland to doing their jobs perfectly to execute, and the result was perhaps the best defensive play we’ll see all year.
Okay, you’ve waited long enough. Roll the clip!
Seriously, nobody has any business making the play that Dustin Pedroia made. pic.twitter.com/sTsBqB3Kyq
— Joon Lee (@iamjoonlee) July 4, 2017
Save that tweet. You’re going to want to show your friends. Happy 4th of July everyone!