Naquin robs Reds with sensational catch

July 9th, 2018

CLEVELAND -- rose to his feet, dirt from the warning track in right field caked across his pants and jersey. On the mound, moments after the Progressive Field crowd let out a collective gasp that quickly morphed into an eruption of cheers, Tribe pitcher Mike Clevinger grinned and held his arms skyward.
Naquin had just finished authoring an incredible diving catch, robbing Scooter Gennett of what looked liked a surefire run-scoring hit in the first inning of Monday's game against the Reds, which the Indians lost 7-5.
With two outs and a runner on first base, Clevinger fired a 95.6-mph fastball that caught too much of the plate. Gennett -- named to the National League All-Star team on Sunday -- ripped the pitch to deep right field with an exit velocity of 101.9 mph, per Statcast™. was off and running from first and would likely have scored had the ball eluded Naquin's reach.
Naquin quickly sprinted to his left and was closing fast on the wall as the baseball headed toward the warning track. At the last moment, the Indians' right fielder left his feet, snaring the ball in the air with a sprawling dive and sliding to a stop on the track after completing the catch.
"You're going to see one to three of those a year like that," Clevinger said of Naquin's catch. "I'm just grateful it's always when I'm on the mound, it seems like. I don't want that to get overlooked. They play so hard behind me it seems like, every time I'm out there, and I always appreciate that. Without them, with whatever punchouts, I would've had six or seven earned runs if they weren't going all out for me."
Per Statcast™, Naquin covered 47 feet in 3.7 seconds. The play included an 81-percent catch probability, but that raw metric does not do justice to the type of dive that was ultimately required for Naquin to stop Cincinnati from grabbing a 1-0 advantage in the opening frame.