Big League Stew

Manny Machado makes incredible barehanded play to retire Alfonso Soriano

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

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While Chris Davis and Adam Jones dominate the highlights in Baltimore due to their offensive prowess, Manny Machado — a terrific hitter himself — has been putting together quite a resume of defensive highlights at the hot corner. Those highlights include his incredible throw from foul territory at Yankee Stadium as his momentum carried toward the third base dugout. That one brought back memories of the great Brooks Robinson and remains among the top five plays we've seen all season. It was that brilliant.

On Wednesday night in Baltimore, he added another gem to his growing collection. Again, the New York Yankees were on the other side of the field when Machado worked his magic, and again I’d say it conjured up images of Mr. Robinson.

It happened in the ninth inning immediately after Robinson Cano hit the go-ahead home run for New York in their 5-4 victory. With Machado playing well back at his position, Alfonso Soriano took a mighty cut at Tommy Hunter‘s first pitch, but got very little of the baseball resulting in a 70 foot slow roller. In Soriano’s younger days it would have served as an easy swinging bunt base hit. Even a couple years ago it would have been an infield hit with a mediocre fielder involved. Now at 37, Soriano had to bust it down the line to have a shot, and unfortunately for him, Machado is no mediocre fielder.

Machado closed on the ball quickly and scooped it effortlessly with his bare hand, somehow finding a solid grip enough grip in the process. Then, with his momentum still carrying him forward Machado left his feet and threw strongly and accurately across his body to first base to catch Soriano by a legitimate half step.

Watch the replay. He was definitely out.

Now check out the effort again.

View photo

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(USA Today)

It was a simply breath-taking play that got overlooked a bit because of the game’s outcome and its impact on the standings. But man, that’s about as good as it gets charging with the bare hand. The fans in Baltimore have a special one in Manny Machado.

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