Maldonado throw earns raves
BOSTON -- So much happened after the second inning on Saturday night on the way to the Brewers' 11-inning win over the Red Sox that manager Ron Roenicke forgot to say something to reporters about catcher Martin Maldonado's sensational pick-and-throw to catch a runner trying to steal second base.
Roenicke rectified that oversight on Sunday morning.
"I don't think I've ever seen a better play from a catcher," Roenicke said.
Maldonado, a superior defensive catcher, called it his best throw ever. Brewers pitcher Kyle Lohse ranked it high on his list, too.
"I saw a lot of [Yadier] Molina, but I don't remember seeing anything quite like that one," Lohse said.
The play was great for several reasons, starting with the fact the Brewers were having a rough defensive inning and had already given away one unearned run. The runner, Red Sox infielder Jonathan Herrera, got a good jump. The called pitch, a backdoor slider, was pulled low and inside and bounced near left-handed hitter Jackie Bradley Jr.'s feet. The throw, with Bradley in the way, had no tail and came from Maldonado's knees, a perfect strike to shortstop Jean Segura. Herrera was out easily.
Maldonado loves those types of throws because he grew up idolizing fellow Puerto Rican Benito Santiago, who always threw from his knees.
"That was the best throw I've had," Maldonado said. "It's like a reaction. I was expecting a back-door slider, and instead it was right behind the hitter. … I saw it in here [on replay]. I'm more comfortable throwing standing up, but in that case, that was the only chance I had."
Said Lohse: "That's one of those things you can't teach. We were having a bad inning, and that stopped it right there. That was awesome."
Roenicke wants to see it again.
"If that's not the play of the week somewhere, somebody doesn't know what they're doing," Roenicke said.