Even Boston Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts was surprised by the amazing throw he made to stop a runner going to third base.
Mookie Betts has a habit of leaving us in awe with the spectacular plays he makes in the outfield. Sometimes the right fielder for the Boston Red Sox even surprises himself.
Boston trailed by two runs in the bottom of the sixth inning with Hector Velazquez back on the mound for his second inning of work. The right-hander allowed a leadoff double to Ji-Man Choi, putting the threat of another run in scoring position.
Avisail Garcia followed by roping a ball down the line deep into the right field corner. Choi was able to trot home easily from second base while Garcia was determined to stretch his double into a triple. Garcia has decent speed and was hustling all the way. He probably makes it to third on that play easily in most cases.
This isn’t most cases. Betts isn’t most outfielders. The three-time Gold Glove winner fired a laser that traveled 305 feet in the air all the way to Rafael Devers, who swooped down to tag a sliding Garcia at third base.
If that throw is even slightly off-target or reaches Devers on a bounce, Garcia makes it to third safely. It took a perfect throw on a play that left zero margin for error. Even Betts couldn’t believe he made it.
Betts told reporters after the game that this was probably the best throw he’s ever made, according to MassLive’s Chris Cotillo.
"“I didn’t know I could do that,” Betts said. “It’s fun to do stuff you didn’t know what you could do.”"
We probably shouldn’t be surprised by anything Mookie does on a baseball field at this point. If anything, we should be surprised that teams continue to test him.
The throw gave Betts his 10th outfield assist of the season, tied with Jackie Bradley Jr. for the team lead and sixth among major league outfielders. He’s also fifth among MLB outfielders with 17 defensive runs saved.
It wasn’t a game-saving play considering the Rays still won 7-4 but Betts probably saved a run to keep the game within reach. Velazquez struck out the next batter before getting Kevin Kiermaier to fly out to deep right field to end the inning. Had there been a runner on third with only one out, Kiermaier probably scores on a sac fly. Ultimately, it didn’t matter, although Velazquez should have owed Betts dinner after the game for preventing his ERA from climbing any higher.
The Red Sox may be wrapping up the end of a lost season but whenever a dynamic player like Betts is on the field there’s always a reason to stay tuned. There’s always a chance he’ll make an outstanding play that you won’t want to miss.