Forget ball-hawk, Jose Altuve is a ball-roadrunner who makes sprinting, bobbled catches
When Alex Rodriguez popped a pitch into shallow right field during the fifth inning of Sunday's Yankees-Astros matchup, it looked like the ball might find the no-man's land in between first baseman Chris Carter and right fielder Domingo Santana. Perhaps it would plop to the ground, extending the inning and giving the Yanks a chance to extend their one-run lead.
That was certainly a possibility, if not for a certain someone named Jose Altuve.
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Altuve sprinted over from covering second (Statcast™ pegged him at a max speed of 18.8 mph over a distance of 119 feet), sliced through Carter and Santana while avoiding a collision and, after the ball bounced out of and back into his glove, secured the third out of the inning.
Whew. There was a enough action and tension in that catch to fill an entire summer blockbuster. Seriously, we've heard the term "ball-hawk" before, but that seems woefully inadequate to describe Altuve's catch. It demands a new name -- "ball-roadrunner?" Altuve was definitely a ball-roadrunner on that play.
"I had to run hard and see if I had a chance. I turned around and saw Domingo getting close to me and I just said, 'I got it,'" Altuve told MLB.com's Chandler Rome after the game. "That was a long way."
Yes, yes it was.