In the top of the first inning on Tuesday night at Citi Field, New York Mets outfielder Juan Lagares tracked an Andrew McCutchen fly ball all the way to the wall in dead center field, leaping back at just the right moment to make a terrific catch.
The play robbed the speedy McCutchen of extra bases and ended a clean first inning for Mets starter Jon Niese, who threw just ten pitches in the frame. It was a great catch!
A bit later though, not to be outdone, Andrew McCutchen engineered some pizzazz of his own. Lagares led off the bottom of the third for the Mets and laced a full count offering from Pirates pitcher Edinson Volquez deep to center, and McCutchen used his wheels to somehow rub the ball down, making a full-extension dive and laying himself out just shy of the warning track.
No, that was a great catch.
The former National League MVP sacrificed his body on a full run to rob Lagares with a catch he had absolutely no business making. The speedy Lagares would have had at least a double, but instead could do nothing but tip his cap and jog casually back to the dugout. Just another textbook F8 putout on the score card.
This brand of “anything you can do I can do better” is yet another example of why baseball is the best game there is. In football, if a defender intercepts a quarterback’s pass, the QB doesn’t get a chance to one-up him later in the game. Tonight in Flushing, N.Y., Andrew McCutchen, one of the premier hitters in all of baseball, was snubbed despite driving a ball deep that probably should have resulted in him standing at second base. So he shrugged it off and went out and made a spectacular play of his own, another one to add to his immense career highlight reel.
The Mets won the tilt, 4-2.
Oh baseball, please never change.