Pillar not content with 1 out on all-out grab

May 26th, 2019

What's better than an unbelievable out? Two unbelievable outs.

Giants right fielder likely saved a run and may have avoided a big D-backs rally in the first inning of Saturday's 10-4 Arizona victory at Oracle Park. With runners on the corners and one out, rookie Kevin Cron scorched a line drive to the right-center-field gap, but a full-extension diving catch by Pillar, who was angled toward the wall as he made the grab, forced both runners to retreat.

The play was rated a 5-star catch with a 5% catch probability according to Statcast.

Adam Jones, who had been on first, was so sure Pillar wouldn't catch up to the liner that he was doubled off at first, ending the inning. Ildemaro Vargas, who tagged up and came home during the play, was initially ruled to have not scored before the final out, but a replay review overturned that call, allowing the run to score.

"I thought I put a pretty good swing on it, but I guess that’s the old ‘welcome to the big leagues’ moment," said Cron. "Pillar made a great play; and glad we were able to get that run, though, because that was awesome."

The double play couldn't have happened without Pillar's hustle before and after the catch -- he rushed to his feet and started a relay to Joe Panik, whose throw to first baseman Brandon Belt finished Arizona's rally.

"What a play," said Giants manager Bruce Bochy. "If that ball gets by him, there’s even more damage. He made a great play. That’s what you love about him. He’s all-out. That’s an energy that we need."