Colorado Rockies shortstop Trevor Story knows how to play to his audience. With the San Francisco Giants in town, Story knew reigning Gold Glove winner Brandon Crawford would be watching.
In the second inning of Thursday’s game, Story made a play that had to impress his counterpart. With the bases loaded and two outs, Story robbed Denard Span of a potential run-scoring, extra-base hit with an unbelievable diving catch.
On the 0-2 pitch, Span hit a bloop shot to shallow left field. Story was playing somewhat up the middle, and immediately broke to his right to track the ball. He ran back, past the infield dirt and raced toward the ball as it descended toward the grass in the outfield.
Just as it looked like Span was going to knock in multiple runs with what Chicago White Sox announcer Hawk Harrelson would refer to as a “duck snort,” Story dove to his right with his back facing the infield, got fully extended and made the grab to end the inning.
The play couldn’t have come at a better time. The Giants were trailing 3-1 when Span hit the ball. Since the runners were going on contact, it’s likely two runs would have come around to score. Story’s excellent catch kept the Rockies ahead.
The Rockies desperately needed that lead. The Giants would mount a spectacular comeback in the late-innings, scoring eight runs against the Rockies bullpen to tie things up. Colorado would wind up winning 10-9 after a walk-off single by Raimel Tapia in the ninth.
Without Story’s diving catch, the Rockies would have needed additional runs to pull out the win. Story’s grab may have occurred in the second inning, but it had a huge impact on the game.
Baseball fans ought to hope Crawford was watching and feels compelled to answer. The Giants and Rockies play the next three days, and we would love nothing more than a web gem competition between two exceptionally talented shortstops.
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