Josh Donaldson dives head-first into stands to make catch, temporarily preserve perfect game
As we approach the halfway point of the 2015 MLB season, you can make a case for Josh Donaldson as the AL MVP. The Blue Jays third baseman entered Wednesday's 1-0 victory over the Rays hitting .298 with 17 home runs and an OPS of .899. He leads all AL third basemen in runs, runs batted in and slugging percentage.
Vote Donaldson: Esurance MLB All-Star ballot
And boy oh boy does he have the fielding tool, too. Donaldson was manning the hot corner for the Jays in a Wednesday matinee featuring a lot of goose-eggs: Through five innings, Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada was perfect and his opposite number -- Rays hurler Nathan Karns -- was working on a no-hitter.
In the top of the eighth, Estrada was still working on a perfect game when David DeJesus skied a ball high into foul territory down the third-base line. Donaldson ranged over and -- just when you think he's about to run out of room -- dove head-first into the crowd to make the incredible catch.
According to Statcast™, Donaldson covered 80.63 feet with a top speed of over 16 mph -- all of which he needed to use for his three-rows-back leap.
He tried to work some magic on the next batter too, charging on a chopper and making a barehand play to try to preserve Estrada's perfecto, but, alas, it wasn't meant to be.
Logan Forsythe beat the throw, fair and square, and the perfect game was no more -- but a valiant effort it was. Though, Dodgers pitcher/baseball pundit Brandon McCarthy joked he wasn't impressed:
@BringerOfRain20 sure it was a nice catch but did you even think about the safety of the fans sitting three rows up? Probably not. Selfish.- Brandon McCarthy (@BMcCarthy32) June 24, 2015
@BringerOfRain20 are you kidding me with that catch?- Daniel Straily (@danstraily67) June 24, 2015
OMG! @BringerOfRain20- Marcus Stroman (@MStrooo6) June 24, 2015