CHICAGO -- Add another one to the highlight reel for Astros right fielder George Springer.The high-flying Springer made one of the most remarkable and athletic catches of the season when he pulled back what would have been a home run off the bat of White Sox slugger Jose Abreu while
CHICAGO -- Add another one to the highlight reel for Astros right fielder George Springer.
The high-flying Springer made one of the most remarkable and athletic catches of the season when he pulled back what would have been a home run off the bat of White Sox slugger Jose Abreu while crashing into the right-field wall in the first inning of a 2-1 loss on Thursday night at U.S. Cellular Field.
"Obviously, I was in a good position to start," Springer said. "He hits the ball hard in that direction, and I believe anything that goes up, I've got a shot to get to it until I can't. I was able to get back to the wall and just jump and catch it."
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The catch was reminiscent of the one Springer made last April in Arlington, Tex., where he pulled back what would have been a walk-off grand slam off the bat of the Rangers' Leonys Martin. For Springer, though, there is no comparison.
"That one, we won the game, so I like that one a little bit better," he said.
Abreu hit a rocket to right field off Astros starter Collin McHugh, and Springer sprinted to the wall, twisting to look over each shoulder before leaping just in time to catch the ball as it was about to disappear over the yellow line. The catch took place right in front of the Astros' bullpen, and the relief corps jumped to their feet in appreciation.
"I knew off the bat it sounded like it went far, so you can't really tell," McHugh said. "George is just doing George things out there, which we've come to expect. He's a treat to watch out there every night."
Abreu's fly ball had an exit velocity of 102 mph and a launch angle of 30 degrees, according to Statcast™. Batted balls with those traits have been a home run 79 percent of the time this year.
Springer was looking over his left shoulder as he initially tracked the ball before turning to look over his right shoulder right before he jumped at the wall.
"The way the ball was playing, he tracked it pretty well," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It looked like the wind caught it a little bit and changed directions, and when he turned and spun, I wasn't sure what was going to happen in this ballpark.
"As it heats up, that ball is probably closer to being a home run. It stayed in the park and George doesn't give up until the play is over. We've seen him run into walls, we've seen him run into people, we've seen him do anything he can to catch a ball. It doesn't shock me."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.