Monday, October 10, 2011
Defensive difference: Elvis Andrus' webless gem
By Tim MacMahon
ARLINGTON, Texas -- Elvis Andrus’ bases-loaded, two-out, ninth-inning, on-the-run, over-the-shoulder catch can’t be called a web gem.
Rangers shortstop Elvis Andrus didn't have much use for his glove on a crucial ninth-inning catch.
That’s because the web of his glove wasn’t used to make arguably the most important defensive play of the postseason.
“It never hit my glove,” Andrus said. “It hit my finger and then I just pulled it into my chest. The ball never got into my glove.”
Andrus made a spectacular play on a full sprint to prevent Victor Martinez’s blooper from falling in shallow center field for a go-ahead hit. Nevertheless, some teammates greeted the giddy Andrus in the dugout by joking that he would have been demoted to Double-A if he didn’t make the play.
Andrus’ smile was due to a combination of relief and amazement. He admitted that he didn’t have much confidence that he’d be able to make the catch while the ball was in the air.
“It was not an easy fly ball,” Andrus said. “I really hate fly balls, especially in that situation with all the fans screaming. But I’m happy I made it.”
So were the rest of the Rangers, who would probably have boarded the plane with the series deadlocked Monday night if Andrus can’t hang on to the ball.
“Those are extremely tough plays,” second baseman Ian Kinsler said. “You’ve got your back to the ball, the ball seems to be jumping around on you because you’re running back hard, you’re looking back over your shoulder. I’m just hoping maybe Josh [Hamilton] can get there to catch that ball, but Elvis was able to corral it in somehow.
“I don’t know how he kept it in his glove.”
Glove? Andrus didn’t need one to make the game-saving grab.