In the recap for the game, I wrote, "It took a phenomenal leaping catch by A.J. Pollock at the wall to preserve the shutout; it's a grab we may well revisit in a few weeks, when we discuss Play of the Year:" And so it proves, as our reigning Gold Glove outfielder now has another award for his (notional) mantelpiece, after 54% of fans voted for his leap at the outfield wall which took a home-run away from Jarrett Parker and preserved the shut-out in a pitchers' duel which the Diamondbacks eventually won 2-0. But credit outfield coach Dave McKay for an assist, as he told Pollock he should play Parker a little the opposite way. Said Pollock:
"That's kind of the first step to making a play is to have the right alignment, and we did, fortunately. Just kind of had him shaded over there and he put a good swing on it and went with the pitch, got close to the fence and my steps were right. Sometimes I mess up the steps and slam into the wall. It just kind of all came together, so it was nice."
Manager Chip Hale was highly impressed, adding, "You could just tell he had a nice bead on it, but once you get above that wall, you never know what's going to happen, if you're going to hit your wrist and the ball is going to fly out. That's one of those I'm sure he'll have forever. It's a great one." Even opposing manager Bruce Bochy called it a "great play defensively by a very good center fielder," and his team-mates were equally vocal.
AJ Pollock is good at playing baseball.— Jake Lamb (@JakeLamb18) September 19, 2015
#breaking AJ is pretty good at catching baseballs. What a play!— Daniel Hudson (@DHuddy41) September 19, 2015
The above is, however, probably most remarkable for documenting The Time Jake Lamb Was Quicker On Social Media Than Daniel Hudson... However, despite the brilliance of the play, I believe (per asteroid) that the MLB Network managed to omit it from their end of season Top 100 Plays, which included not a single entry from the Diamondbacks. If so, that is truly a traveshamockery, because there were few better in the 2015 season.
We'll be back later in the day, as we start the regularly-scheduled portion of the awards programming, opening the doors for you to suggest Single-Game Performance of the Year nominations. So, get your thinking caps on!