Say what you want about Joba Chamberlain or Phil Hughes, but the most interesting thing I saw all afternoon was the catch that Curtis Granderson made on Miguel Cabrera in the fourth inning.
I know that the defensive value of Granderson vs. Brett Gardner is a hot debate, but when Granderson went back – all the way back – to the wall to catch Cabrera’s 410-foot laser, it was something to see. I’ve always been fascinated by the over-the-shoulder catch, mostly because I think it’s amazing that outfielders are able to see the ball, then look away to run, then turn around and find the ball again. Granderson said the keys to the play are getting a good jump and, even more, listening the other outfielders.
On that play, Gardner and Marcus Thames both began by screaming at Granderson to go back – since they’re on an angle, they can see just how deep the ball is hit – and then, as he approached the wall, they both shouted to let him know that he had just enough room to make the catch without worrying about hitting the wall. As it turned out, he finished about one stride away from the fence. Perfect.
“That’s one of those things where everything has to go right,” Granderson said. “It’s a play that’s hard to practice.”
Take a listen to the audio. It’s pretty interesting to hear just what goes into making a grab like that.
That’s it from here. I’m headed back through the traffic to Tampa. Thanks to everyone for reading today.