Jackie Bradley Jr. continues to show off his defensive superpowers, and he earned this year's gold glove. This game-saving home run rob was just named play of the year by MLB Network, and it was well deserved!
It was the bottom of the 11th, all tied up 1-1 against the Baltimore Orioles. Ryan Brasier was put in at relief pitcher for Brandon Workman and had already struck out the first batter. Then, in an 0-2 count heavily favoring the pitcher, this sequence takes place:
All Trey Mancini could do was simply tip his helmet and trudge back into the dugout. No one on the Orioles looked upset, just astonished. After the game, clearly many of his teammates were excited to talk about Jackie's heroics.
“That should count as a win for him,” Red Sox starting pitcher David Price said. “If he doesn’t make that catch, we don’t win this game. That’s Jackie being Jackie.”
“That’s why we love having him out there," Red Sox ace Chris Sale, who also started the game, said. "You love seeing that and I think that obviously gives everyone a boost when stuff like that happens.”
It appears it did give them a boost, as Andrew Benintendi followed that up with the game-winning homer the following inning.
Jackie's impact on the defensive end is crucial to the success of the team. For the last five years, he has consistently been one of the best defensive center fielders in the league. If he can get his bat to be similarly consistent, then Bradley would honestly be a regular All-Star. The one year he reached the .260 batting average mark, a mark hit by seven of his teammates this year, he was named an All-Star. So imagine if he could get in the .280 or .290 range. He is still relatively young, so we should see more of this exciting play for years to come.