Red Sox: Top 5 defensive web gem plays of 2016 season
By Sean Penney
Pedroia’s game-ending double play
Brad Ziegler wasn’t acquired mid-season with the idea of using him in the closer role he once filled in Arizona, but with Craig Kimbrel sidelined by injury, the submariner stepped into the ninth inning for a few save situations.
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His track record shows that Ziegler is not only capable of locking down a save, but also among the league’s best at inducing double-plays, which is exactly what the Red Sox needed while protecting a two run lead with a runner on first.
Ziegler got the grounder he needed and Dustin Pedroia did the rest. The veteran second baseman gobbled up the ground ball quickly enough to tag Yunel Escobar on his way by. The Angels second baseman jumped out of the base path to try to avoid the tag, but Pedroia still got him, regained his balance and made an accurate throw to first base to complete the game-ending double play.
Pedroia’s three-run homer in the top of the ninth gave the Red Sox the lead and his defense sealed the victory in Los Angeles. The four-time Gold Glove winner has long been among the best second basemen in the game at turning two, piling up a highlight reel of great plays again this season. The degree of difficulty combined with the fact that it secured a narrow victory is what puts this play on the list.