Grichuk listens to dad, robs Kendrick of homer

May 14th, 2016

LOS ANGELES -- Randal Grichuk was still stewing on Friday about the Albert Pujols home run that nicked off his glove in the ninth inning of the Cardinals' game at Angel Stadium the night before. Though the blast was inconsequential in the outcome, it was a homer Grichuk believed he should have robbed.

"Those are the ones you dream of," he told his dad, in town to watch his son play in both portions of the Cardinals' Southern California stay.

As dads are apt to do, George Grichuk encouraged him to let it go.

"Oh, you'll get plenty more," he insisted.

The comment drew a chuckle from his son.

"Dad, you don't understand," Randal Grichuk replied. "Those plays don't come by often."

This time, however, a chance at redemption did. With his dad sitting in the stands for Friday night's series opener at Dodger Stadium, Grichuk opened the bottom of the first by bringing back what would have been a Howie Kendrick leadoff homer with a well-time leaped at the center-field wall. It was a defensive highlight in an otherwise forgettable defensive night for the Cardinals and helped starter Michael Wacha to a 1-2-3 opening inning.

"I knew I'd have a chance to make a play close to the wall, and it carried a little bit more than I thought," Grichuk said, following an 8-4 loss to the Dodgers. "Luckily, this time I was able to go up and make a play."

"I saw he almost got Albert last night," Kendrick said. "Grichuk's a great dude. I played with him in Anaheim. Tell him I owe him one for that catch."

This was the second homer that Grichuk has brought back this year. The first came on April 20, when he kept the Cubs' Anthony Rizzo from sending a ball over the wall at Busch Stadium.

Grichuk, in his first season as the Cardinals' everyday center fielder, rose through the farm system with a reputation for defensive excellence. The Minor League Gold Glove Award he earned in 2013 was further affirmation of that.

This spring, he gathered defensive pointers from one of the franchise's best ever defensive center fielders, Jim Edmonds, who just so happened that Edmonds was at Dodger Stadium on Friday night to witness his pupil's latest gem, as he called the game for the Cardinals' regional telecast.

George Grichuk was there, too, sitting in the stands with his wife and likely ready with a few follow-up words for his son after the Cardinals' 8-4 loss.

"I'll talk to him about it again," Grichuk said, "if I can get another one tomorrow."