Venable atones for missed chances with amazing grab
SAN FRANCISCO -- There was really only one way to describe Will Venable's disposition Monday as the Padres and the Giants headed to the 12th inning.
"Will was mad," said Padres manager Bud Black.
Venable, the Padres' center fielder, was 1-for-7 with two strikeouts and had personally stranded eight runners on base. He even failed to get two bunts down as well.
So when he took the field in the bottom of the 12th inning, Venable was determined to do something -- anything, really -- to help his team.
"I'm telling myself ... I let some opportunities pass earlier in the game, where we had a chance to score some runs," Venable said.
With two outs and the potential game-winning run at second base, Venable came up big, running down a long drive to center field by Juan Perez and making a leaping catch to end the inning.
The Padres went on to win, 5-3, in 13 innings.
How impressive was Venable's catch? Try asking the pitcher who was on the mound at the time, Nick Vincent, who had the sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach quickly replaced by a sense of euphoria.
"I knew it was behind him, but then once it got up in the wind, it kept going," Vincent said. "It looked to me like he was 6 feet off the ground. He was in the air for days."
Venable, who is from nearby Marin County, dressed quickly after the game so he could see family. He got his first chance to discuss the catch with reporters before Tuesday's game.
"He [Perez] hit the ball well. I was playing in because I wanted to be sure we didn't get beat on a ground ball," Venable said."It was one where you reach for it and your body takes you off your feet."
Venable was greeted by his elated teammates when he reached the top of the dugout steps. But there were more cheers in the seats, even from Giants fans who, apparently, appreciated his catch even if it was against their team.
"Tough crowd," Venable said. "But I will take it."