Moncada gets assist from Tribe on solo HR

July 31st, 2021

CHICAGO -- Yoán Moncada’s ninth home run received a little help from the Indians in the second inning of Friday night’s 6-4 win for the White Sox at Guaranteed Rate Field, raising the South Siders’ lead in the American League Central to nine games. 

Moncada connected on a drive to right-center with a 108.2 mph exit velocity and an xBA of .720, per Statcast. But it looked like a catchable play as center fielder Bradley Zimmer raced over and under it.

Zimmer had the ball in his glove until right fielder Daniel Johnson delivered a hit to Zimmer that would make the best Cleveland Browns defensive back stand up and take notice. When they collided, the ball was pushed over the fence for a Cleveland-assisted home run.

“I found out that DJ didn’t hear Zimmer, because Zimmer had gotten there before him, but the crowd -- a pretty big crowd -- DJ just didn’t hear him,” Cleveland acting manager DeMarlo Hale said of the play. “Sometimes you have to peek again to see where that other outfielder is. It didn’t work out that time. I was surprised the ball went over the wall.

“It’s one of them freak things. Both of their gloves in the gap, Zimmer being the right-handed thrower, DJ being a lefty. They’re going at the ball. I can’t fault their aggressiveness. They’re going to try to make a play. That’s what we talked about. But fundamentally, I hope we learned something, to maybe peek at the last second to see where the center fielder is.”