Nolan goes 91 ft. for snag, makes it look easy

April 28th, 2021

As tracked backward and backward, 91 feet in all, he had his teammates in his ear. Catcher Andrew Knizner was yelling to him, “It's staying in!” Carlos Martínez watched in awe as the eight-time Gold Glover approached the wall along the third-base line. Busch Stadium arose for one of these moments they were promised when Arenado landed with the Cardinals this offseason.

“I don't know if he can hear me or not,” Knizner said after the Cardinals' 5-2 win over the Phillies. “I don't even know really why I had to tell him anything, let him do his thing.”

Arenado confirmed he couldn’t hear anything. His one-track mind was on stealing an at-bat away from Bryce Harper in foul territory.

When he slid on the warning track and popped up with the ball in his mitt, the first true “Nolan being Nolan” moment had come and gone while wearing a Cardinals jersey.

“I think it's more about opportunity,” said manager Mike Shildt. “… He just hasn't had as many opportunities. He’s made some nice plays this year and he's been on point defensively, as we would expect. He just had a couple of really special plays the last couple nights. When the opportunity presented itself, he showed what kind of player he is, which is a really, really good one.”

In the third inning, Harper lofted a popup into foul ground along the third-base line, and Arenado, who was shifted off the bag, sprinted 91 feet to make a ridiculous over-the-shoulder grab. He kept his eyes on it the whole way before sticking that gold glove out at what seemed like the last possible moment to send Harper back to the dugout.

Arenado popped right back to his feet like the sliding snag was no big thing. And for him, it really isn't.

“Just focus on the ball, and hopefully the ball doesn’t pop out,” Arenado said.

“Platinum Glover,” Knizner said, “just doing his thing.”