The impermeable outfield
May, 30, 2012
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com
As the elder statesman of Angels outfielders, who are rapidly becoming the best defensive unit in the major leagues, Torii Hunter has a little motto he shares with young speedsters Peter Bourjos and Mike Trout.
"Don't let anybody have a hit," Hunter said. "And if you don't have a hit, then really don't let them have a hit."
Tuesday night, they barely did. Trout made a leaping catch to rob a home run and a diving catch to take away a single. Bourjos made a sprinting catch in the alley before slamming into the wall. Hunter is a nine-time Gold Glove winner who may have played the best defensive right field in the AL last year.
If Bourjos can hit well enough to force his way into the lineup more often, the Angels would have an outfield comprised of three center fielders, all with Gold Glove potential.
"They've got some track stars out there," said Yankee Nick Swisher, the victim of two of the great catches.
"It was crazy from my point of view, when the ball goes up, to see them close ground like that," Angels pitcher Dan Haren said. "It's pretty special. Those things, they change innings and they can change the game around."
Hunter got Wednesday's game off since he just returned from a two-week stay on the restricted list, but he figures to return Friday night with first-place Texas in town.
Also, Haren will pitch Sunday, the finale of that series. The Angels likely will use rookie Garrett Richards either Monday or Tuesday against Seattle.
Here are lineups for Wednesday:
Derek Jeter SS
Curtis Granderson CF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Robinson Cano 2B
Mark Teixeira 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Nick Swisher RF
Eric Chavez DH
Russell Martin C
Alberto Callaspo 3B
Albert Pujols 1B
Kendrys Morales DH
Mark Trumbo RF
Howie Kendrick 2B
Erick Aybar SS
Peter Bourjos CF
Bobby Wilson C