Betts races to make another 'special' grab
Red Sox center fielder reaches up at wall to rob Ruf
BOSTON -- Red Sox center fielder Mookie Betts made a tremendous catch look almost routine in the fourth inning of Sunday afternoon's 6-2 win over the Phillies.
Betts got a great jump after Darin Ruf belted an Eduardo Rodriguez offering to the deepest part of Fenway Park in right-center field. Then, on the dead run, Betts reached up at the wall and plucked the ball out of mid-air. According to Statcast™, the ball came off Ruf's bat 101.78 mph, and Betts' first step after the ball left the bat was in 0.205 seconds. Betts hit a top speed of 18.289 mph in 4.376 seconds.
Had Betts not caught it, Ruf may have had himself a solo home run into the Boston bullpen to cut into a 6-1 Red Sox lead.
"A very special play," said right fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. "We both were attacking it, he had the best angle on it. For him to make that play, it was cool to watch."
In late July, Betts suffered a concussion on a similar play in right-center after he tumbled over the low bullpen wall, banging his head and dropping the ball on impact.
"Talk about some mental toughness," said interim manager Torey Lovullo. "Here's a kid that's banged into that wall a couple times, once specifically in that same exact area, makes a great play and doesn't back off of it."
Betts showed impressive body control to soften the blow against the wall.
"I've gotten to be pretty familiar with the wall now," Betts said, "so [as] I got closer and closer, I had an idea of where the wall was and could reach up and catch it."
Any concerns about a repeat of the July incident are behind him.
"I think all that's kind of out the window," said Betts, who went 1-for-3 with an RBI single, a walk and a run scored. "You've just kind of got to continue to attack it and be aggressive at the wall, not really have any fear. Then I can make more catches like that."