Cain wins battle with wall, bested by fastball

After brilliant wall-banging catch, outfielder HBP, but X-rays are negative

May 5th, 2019

MILWAUKEE -- Brewers center fielder is ticketed for a hard-earned day off Monday when the Nationals come to Miller Park after enduring a painful sixth inning on Sunday that forced his early exit from a 3-2 win over the Mets.

First, Cain made a sensational running catch in the top of the sixth to save an extra-base hit off the bat of Pete Alonso. He was visited by athletic trainers in the outfield after crashing into the wall in right-center, though he stayed in the game.

Then he was hit on the left hand by a Tim Peterson fastball leading off the bottom of the inning. Cain suffered a bruised left hand, but X-rays were negative, and Cain said he hopes to be back in action Tuesday night against Washington starter Stephen Strasburg.

“I might have to talk to [Brewers manager Craig] Counsell about that,” Cain said. “But for me, I plan on being back in there on Tuesday.”

Whether it’s one day off or two, the good news for the Brewers was that Cain avoided something more serious.

“He had a tough 15 minutes there,” said right fielder Christian Yelich.

That included the catch, for which Cain covered 93 feet in 4.9 seconds to make a play Statcast gave him a 35 percent chance of converting for an out. Cain went down for a few moments before standing and resuming his position in center field. The scoreboard showed him wearing a big smile.

“I've seen him make some pretty miraculous plays on ESPN,” said Alonso. “I thought I had a pretty good chance because he may have missed it or something, but it was just an unbelievable play, an unbelievable play.”

Add it to Cain’s long defensive resume.

“Someone needs to give him a Gold Glove. Anybody. Somebody,” said Yelich, who’s a Rawlings Gold Glove Award winner himself. “That was a good one. He hit the wall full speed, and people think because there’s a pad on it, it doesn’t hurt very much. It hurts a lot. I’m definitely glad he’s alright.”

Cain had spent the previous inning mad at himself for not catching Keon Broxton’s double to center field in the fifth. That led to one of the Mets’ two runs against Brewers starter Zach Davies, who limited the damage to two runs on six hits in 7 2/3 innings with a big assist from Cain in the sixth. The highlight-reel catch came with a Mets runner on base and the Brewers leading by two runs.

“It was awesome,” said Davies. “It was one of those where it was a long ways, in-between both fielders in right-center. He came up with it and it was awesome. It brings life back into you when you’re pitching. It’s just a huge momentum swing.”