Red Sox: Alex Verdugo’s amazing catch extends Boston’s winning streak
Alex Verdugo makes a catch Red Sox Nation won’t forget
I said it this morning and I think the action is living up to the words. Today is going to be a long day of baseball for the Red Sox. With a chance to win their eighth game in a row in the balance Boston would squander chance after chance. Luckily for all of us, the Twins were just about as bad at moving runners across the plate. Finally, we got to the final inning of the game with Minnesota threatening, and Alex Verdugo decided that enough was enough.
Boston fans have gotten used to seeing their leftfielder make some amazing catches but this is a new team and the name on the back in left is different. No longer is it Andrew Benintendi making the highlight reel catches in leftfield but the dynamic duo of Franchy Cordero and Verdugo. Today it was Dugie’s chance to put his stamp on the early going of 2021 and he didn’t waste his opportunity.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh and Matt Barnes in a bit of a jam, Verdugo made a play that instantly reminded Red Sox Nation of the 2018 ALCS. The Twins had runners on with Luis Arraez at the plate ready to attack. Arraez stung a ball to leftfield that looked like it had no business of being caught until Dugie came flying onto the scene. Much like his predecessor in that fateful postseason game, Alex dove and was able to make a spectacular catch to end the game.
Barnes instantly hugged his teammate the moment he made his way back to the infield and the Red Sox had officially won eight in a row. A stellar starting performance by Nathan Eovaldi would be followed by solid relief efforts by Darwinzon Hernandez and Barnes, but the day belongs to Verdugo. He may have only gone 2-4 at the plate but that’s not going to matter when all is said and done. All that matters is that game-winning catch.
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Verdugo has been a fan favorite since being traded to the Red Sox before last season in the often discussed Mookie Betts deal. Since joining the club he has been a massive spark of energy no matter the situation the team finds themselves in. It always seems like Dugie is ready to go and is at 100%. He’s often a choice to be mic’d up and when he is he delivers nothing but gold. His personality may be a big reason why fans love him but his play on the field is another.
Alex is one of those players that will steal a base even when the analytics say he shouldn’t. He will always try to go from first to third on a single. And you better believe he will run down each and every ball that’s hit his way, just ask Travis Shaw. That combination of how he handles the game on and off the field is why he was accepted so quickly by his teammates and the fans. Worries about his work ethic and injury history were quickly put to rest thanks to his .308/.367/.478/.844 line last year.
In a season that has been filled with exciting defensive plays, lights-out pitching performances, and offensive explosions, today’s catch will be on the top of many people’s lists. Alex Verdugo continues to be one of the more exciting players on this Red Sox roster and this afternoon’s game-winner was just another chapter in his Boston story. This catch wasn’t the first and it surely won’t be the last for Dugie.