Pillar impersonates Spidey, robs Beckham of homer
TORONTO -- Step aside Rajai Davis, there's a new Spider-Man in town.
In what seems to have become part of his daily routine, Blue Jays left fielder Kevin Pillar made yet another jaw-dropping catch on Wednesday night. This time, it involved scaling the 10-foot-high fence at Rogers Centre to take a home run away from Rays second baseman Tim Beckham.
The sensational grab immediately drew comparisons to a similar catch that former Blue Jays outfielder Davis made in 2012 against the Yankees. Both players defied the odds, and not only did they perfectly time their jump, but they somehow found a way to stretch their glove over that tall fence.
"I'm pretty amazed by it," Pillar admitted after Toronto's 12-7 win. "I watched it a couple of times on my phone when I got in. It's going to be tough to top, making a play like that in my career, and I'm just thankful that I had an opportunity to rob a home run in the big leagues."
Pillar's latest highlight-reel play happened during the seventh inning when Beckham hit a towering fly ball to left field. Pillar wasn't sure if the ball would have quite enough distance to get over the wall, and he tracked it closely into the corner.
During the final seconds, Pillar realized he might have a play. He stutter-stepped along the warning track to properly time his jump. Pillar then took a couple of large running steps as if he were going to dunk a basketball, and he put his glove over the wall for what likely will go down as a candidate for catch of the year.
Defensive gems has become the norm for Pillar during the first nine games of the season. He made a pair of headfirst diving grabs in the recent three-game series against Baltimore, and he has drawn plenty of praise from his teammates along the way.
"The way he's played this first week and a half, two weeks, just give him the Gold Glove right now," Blue Jays left-hander Mark Buehrle said. "He has made some great catches out there, defensively, throwing guys out. And obviously what he's doing offensively, he's hitting the ball pretty good, too. Give him the Gold Glove, Silver Slugger, everything you need to give him right now, because he has been playing outstanding."