CLEVELAND -- After Angels outfielder Ben Revere connected on an Andrew Miller four-seam fastball low and away, Indians left fielder Michael Brantley sprinted toward the line, chasing the bloop that was dropping in a hurry. With the ball just a few feet away from landing, Brantley laid out to make
CLEVELAND -- After Angels outfielder Ben Revere connected on an Andrew Miller four-seam fastball low and away, Indians left fielder Michael Brantley sprinted toward the line, chasing the bloop that was dropping in a hurry. With the ball just a few feet away from landing, Brantley laid out to make a diving catch to record the first out in the eighth inning of Tuesday's 11-7 victory over the Angels at Progressive Field.
"[I was] just trying to get to the ball," Brantley said. "It was fading down and away from me, and I was just trying to get there to make a catch for my pitcher."
Brantley's catch came at a crucial time in the ballgame, as the Tribe and the Halos were deadlocked in a 7-7 tie. Per Statcast™, Brantley's incredible catch only had a catch probability of 7 percent. In 3.8 seconds, the All-Star covered 66 feet just to get to the point where he could dive for the ball, making it a five-star catch.
"I would say in a game like this, if [that] play doesn't get made, you probably lose," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "Fortunately, we made some good defensive plays."
It was Brantley's second five-star catch this season. In addition, the catch was tied for the second-lowest catch probability this season among catches with more than 50 feet of distance needed and under four seconds of opportunity time.
"Really? Wow. That's awesome," Brantley said after being told it was a five-star catch. "It was a difficult catch at the time, for sure. I had to dive or else I wasn't going to catch the ball. But I'm just glad that I got to do it to save Andrew Miller some pitches."
The snag was just one of Brantley's great catches on the night, as he took a two-RBI, extra-base hit away from Angels designated hitter Jose Pujols in the fourth inning. After getting a late break on Pujols' fly ball, Brantley tracked it down to the warning track in left to make a lunging catch to end the inning.
Brantley also clubbed his seventh homer of the season in the second inning. After not hitting a home run since April 30, Brantley has homered twice in the past three games. Since returning home on Friday, the Indians have gone 5-0 to improve their record at Progressive Field to 26-24. In those five games, Brantley has hit .316 with two homers, a double and six RBIs.
"We've been playing great all-around baseball since we've been home," Brantley said. "We have to continue to play good baseball in front of these great fans that we got, and we just have to continue to take care of home territory."
William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland and covered the Indians Tuesday.