Willson Contreras' perfect throw -- and Addison Russell's sliding grab -- nabbed Justin Turner
With Justin Turner standing on second base with two outs in the first inning of the Cubs' 10-2 victory in Wednesday's NLCS Game 4, the Dodgers were threatening to jump out to an early lead and, perhaps, give themselves a quick pathway to a 3-1 series lead. But Cubs catcher Willson Contreras was having none of it.
Turner -- who stole only four bases this season and is hardly a threat to run -- surely thought that no one was paying him any attention. Perhaps taking a moment to breathe in the evening air or gaze at the sunset instead of getting straight back to second base, Contreras unleashed a laser beam at a Statcast™-measured 86 mph. He also pulled off a pop-time of 1.89 -- just .01 seconds slower than his personal-best from the season -- and .1 seconds faster than the Major League average.
Even still, Contreras needed to make a perfect throw, putting the ball right to where Turner would come diving in. For that, Addison Russell had to pull off some Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics to slide into the bag, grab the ball and apply the tag in one swift move. Given that Russell's double-play partner, Javier Baez, is known for his own amazing snap tags, this seems to be another skill that the Cubs excel in.
Tune in to watch the Cubs and Dodgers square off in Game 5 of the NLCS on Thursday at 8 p.m. on FS1.