ST. LOUIS -- Less than three weeks after an experiment turned into an initiative, Matt Adams showcased his new versatility by making his first Major League appearance as a left fielder.
After logging 2,909 big league innings as a first baseman, Adams participated with a different perspective in Tuesday's 2-1 loss to the Cubs. He was summoned to take over in left after Stephen Piscotty's departure necessitated some outfield shuffling.
Opportunities evened out for him, too. After having only two fly balls hit his way in four Grapefruit League appearances as a left fielder, Adams had to track down three in his first two innings there Tuesday.
"The ball definitely finds you out there," Adams said. "It's a little bit different, the depth perception, for sure. But I felt pretty good out there. Once that first one came out to me, I settled down a little bit."
It was the outfield catch made against him, however, that stung.
After drawing a walk in his first plate appearance, Adams blasted a 79-mph pitch from Koji Uehara to center with one out in the seventh. Off the bat, it looked like it would land in the grass as a game-tying home run. But Cubs center fielder Albert Almora Jr. had other plans.
His leaping grab robbed Adams of a hit that, with an exit velocity of 106 mph and launch angel of 34 degrees, produces a home run 92 percent of the time, according to Statcast™.
"I thought it was deep gone," Almora said. "I heard that at Busch Stadium, the first couple months, [the ball] dies out there. I took that into consideration."
Incidentally, it had been Cardinals first baseman Matt Carpenter who had told Almora earlier in the night that the ball often doesn't carry well at this park in cool temperatures.
"It felt good off the bat, but the wind is blowing in tonight," Adams said. "Almora made a great catch. I put a good swing on it. That's all I could do from there."