Was Curtis Granderson's catch the best in Wild Card Game history?
In the postseason, every pitch counts. Every second, every swing, it's all under the microscope.
Add in the elimination factor of the Wild Card Game format and, well, things can get intense. Curtis Granderson's run-saving catch in the sixth inning of Wednesday's Giants-Mets tussle at Citi Field was especially ridiculous, given its context. The Giants won the game, 3-0, on the strength of yet another bit of Madison Bumgarner hero work (and San Francisco's latest out-of-nowhere postseason clutch performer, Conor Gillaspie), but Granderson's catch was something to behold.
It (and Kevin Pillar's turf-sliding, run-saving grab in the American League Wild Card Game on Tuesday) also inspired us to look back on some other top-tier Wild Card catches that have taken place since the system was installed back in 2012.
Brett Gardner vs. Evan Gattis, 2015
The Astros may have won this game behind a sterling pitching performance from Dallas Keuchel, but Brett Gardner did his part on defense in the second inning, ranging into the right-field gap to corral an Evan Gattis would-be double off the wall (and make it look easy, as per usual).
Jason Heyward vs. Yadier Molina, 2012
As an outfielder, few things wreak more havoc than an unforgiving sun. Braves right fielder Jason Heyward dealt with that same hazard in the 2012 NL Wild Card Game at Turner Field, but reeled in a Yadier Molina line drive at the right-field wall that may have edged over the fence for a homer if unimpeded. That's what you do when you're a three-time National League Gold Glove Award winner, sun or not.
Pablo Sandoval vs. Russell Martin and the dugout fence, 2014
While Bumgarner was spinning a gem (big surprise, right?) in the '14 NL Wild Card Game against the Pirates at PNC Park, his third baseman, Pablo Sandoval, was putting in work with the glove. Russell Martin, no stranger to slick dugout plays himself, was the victim of Sandoval's running, tumbling, flipping play in the seventh inning.
Todd Frazier vs. Jordy Mercer (and the dugout fence, again), 2013
Just as Sandoval wound up flying over the dugout fence at PNC Park in a Wild Card Game, so, too, did Reds third baseman Todd Frazier in the '13 contest. Quashing a rally for the Pirates, Frazier actually tumbled far into the stands around the camera well in his successful pursuit of a popup. Never give up on the ball, kids.
George Springer vs. Alex Rodriguez, 2015
Astros right fielder George Springer had some defensive magic of his own to flaunt in the Astros' win over the Yankees in '15. When Alex Rodriguez cracked a line drive into the right-field corner, there was a sprinting Springer to make a great running grab, denying A-Rod of potential extra bases in the process.