My fixation is often on the shortstop position, given Venezuela’s historic excellence there. However, two of the outstanding defensive plays of the week, perhaps the season, were turned by Venezuelan centerfielders 24 hours and 1,000 miles apart.
As we reported in the wee hours of Wednesday, Ezequiel Carrera made a headlong dive at full tilt to rob Jacoby Ellsbury of an extra-base hit and a couple of RBI in the Bronx on Tuesday; on Wednesday, Alexi Amarista—a defensive substitution by Padres’ manager Bud Black—robbed countryman and VZ Baseball favorite Eduardo Escobar of the game winning hit in the bottom of the ninth, flagging down a drive to deep centerfield just like Kellen Winslow tracking a Dan Fouts spiral. (Extreme San Diego reference.) In the bright Minneapolis sunshine, Twins rookie right fielder Oswaldo Arcia made a nice shoestring grab himself in the top of the ninth.
Courtesy of MLB, check out the plays for yourself:
Let’s leave the accolades to their colleagues. On Amarista: I thought for sure [the ball would fall in]. He was playing really shallow, too,” Twins second baseman Brian Dozier said. “But that guy is a burner out there, and he made a great play. He pretty much won the game for them.”
More Stellar D, or, The Old 6-5-6 Double Play
and why not? In the City of Brotherly Distaste for Ruben Amaro, with runners on first and second, Cody Asche grounded to Puerto Ordaz’s own Marwin Gonzalez at short. Marwin fired to Matt Dominguez at third, who rifled it back to M.G. at second for an uncommon double play. For once, we mention the Houston Astros without involving mighty-mite Jose Altuve, who took the 0-for-4 collar in the Astros loss.
The Brewers continue their magical ride atop the National League Central, and owe a lot of it to Frankie Rodriguez, who got his 34th save on Thursday against Pablo Sandoval’s Giants. The final inning featured Giants reliever and Zulia native Yusmeiro Petit, who retired the Brewers 1—2-3; K-Rod returned the favor to close out the game, the final out settling in the glove of newly acquired left fielder Gerardo Parra.
Tuesday featured fireworks from the three P’s: Parra, the Panda, and Martin Prado as Parra’s first homer as a Brewer cancelled out Sandoval’s three-run homer for the Giants. Suddenly the Panda, in a contract year, is up over .280 and blasting the ball everywhere; a classic streak hitter. In Yankee Stadium on the very same night, Prado belted a homer off another P., All -Star southpaw David Price, but the Yankees still went down to defeat in 12 innings.