JBJ wows Fenway with latest spectacular grab
Sox's center fielder robs Lindor; Chisenhall answers with acrobatic catch of his own
BOSTON -- So spectacular are the defensive feats of Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. that he has begun drawing comparisons to another athlete famous for wowing the sports world with jaw-dropping catches: New York Giants wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr.
"I was messing around with him -- you know [he goes by] JBJ," Boston starter Joe Kelly said. "I was calling him 'OBJ,' Odell Beckham Jr. It was pretty fun to watch."
Both Bradley Jr. and Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall treated the fans at Fenway Park to a pair of applause-worthy catches in Wednesday night's 6-4 Red Sox win.
The latest entry in the saga of Bradley Jr.'s standout glovework came in the top of the first inning. With also-gifted center fielder Mookie Betts receiving the day off, Bradley Jr. capably filled his teammate's shoes by running toward the warning track, leaping and extending his glove to complete an excellent grab that robbed Tribe shortstop Francisco Lindor of a hit.
According to Statcast™, Lindor sent the liner 379 feet at a speed of 103 mph.
"It was hit really well," Bradley said. "One of those ones where you're trying to just guess where the spot is. I guess I was pretty close. I tried to get turned around, trying to make an acrobatic catch."
In the bottom of the second, Bradley was robbed of extra bases thanks to a similar grab by Chisenhall, who reached over his head for the catch as he approached the right-field wall. It was only his 13th career start in right field.
"I think he's done a great job out there so far," Cleveland starter Corey Kluber said. "Obviously, he's still very new at it, but just watching him, it doesn't really appear that way. I think he's done a good job of getting better in stride. ... I don't know if learning on the fly is the right way of saying it, but he didn't have a whole lot of experience out there. In my opinion, he's played pretty good out there."
But Bradley got the last laugh, clubbing a home run in the fourth inning to extend his career-high on-base streak to 11 games.
Dave Dombrowski, on hand for his first full day as the Red Sox's president of baseball operations, could be seen chuckling in amazement on the NESN broadcast upon seeing Bradley Jr.'s remarkable athleticism. Kelly likewise showed his appreciation with a smile beamed in Bradley's direction.
"He's one of the best in the game," Kelly said. "Lindor put a really good swing on it, 2-0, and [he's] got some power. For sure, right off the bat, I thought it was a double. And then to see him go off on [his] foot, the ball falling on the other side of his shoulder -- I played center field; I thought I was pretty good at it, but he's unbelievable."