Marisnick races up Tal's Hill for amazing grab
Astros' center fielder robs Mariners' Morrison with inning-ending catch
HOUSTON -- On a night when nine home runs flew out of Minute Maid Park, Jake Marisnick left an indelible impression with his glove.
The Astros' center fielder climbed the funky Tal's Hill that occupies the final 25 feet or so before the center-field wall in Houston, absolutely robbing Logan Morrison of an RBI extra-base hit to end the top of the sixth inning Saturday.
"That's up there as my best [catch ever]," Marisnick said of the play that wowed a fired-up crowd and preserved a five-run lead for the Astros in their 11-4 victory.
"He came to my wedding and I played with him for a year with the Marlins," Morrison said. "So he's now off the Christmas card list."
Jokes aside, the play left his teammates and coaches in awe.
"Play of the year," said starter Collin McHugh, who was visibly awestruck on the mound after the catch.
Marisnick traveled 105 feet and had a route efficiency of 98.4, with a top speed of 19.5 mph, according to Statcast. By comparison, Mets center fielder Juan Lagares traveled 84.4 feet on his amazing catch last week, and Astros right fielder George Springer traveled 93.7 feet when he robbed a grand slam in Arlington on April 12.
"One of the best catches you'll ever see in person. Or on video. It was that good." said Houston manager A.J. Hinch.
Marisnick's haul was a reminder. Yes, he may be hitting at an absurd pace a month into the season, but his range in center is what made him a coveted prospect when the Astros acquired him via trade last summer.
And McHugh was plenty thankful for that range. Marisnick said he thought it was out of reach when it first came off the bat. While he remained in the moment on the chase, McHugh went through several emotional swings as the ball hung in the air.
"Everybody in the stadium was jaw dropped when he caught it," McHugh said. "That's probably 150 feet from where he was playing center field. I thought it had a shot to get out to straight center [436 feet], the way the ball was carrying tonight. When he turned his back and took off, I was planning to get another ball from the umpire. Just unbelievable effort."
The play could also be among the last of its kind. There's been plenty of buzz in Houston that the Astros may do away with the hill during upcoming stadium renovations after the season. Many players have said the berm can make you look good or make you look foolish. Even with a stumble, it's obvious Marisnick got the better of Saturday's encounter.
"It's just different, an extra aspect out there," he said. "I was just joking before the game I hadn't had a ball hit there yet. I definitely know I can catch one on it now."