Another ball-through-glove play benefits Padres this time

April 20th, 2024

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres lost their season opener to the Dodgers after a hard-hit ball tore through first baseman Jake Cronenworth’s glove in the Seoul Series.

Never seen it before,” third baseman Tyler Wade said then.

Well, now he and the Padres have seen it twice in less than a month. And the baseball gods, who clearly have a warped sense of humor, have evened the score.

The Padres were the beneficiaries of a ball through the glove on Friday night in their 5-1 loss to the Blue Jays at Petco Park. With San Diego down, 5-0, and a runner on first base in the second inning, Jackson Merrill pulled a grounder to first base with 107.3 mph exit velocity. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached for the ball, only to see it go straight through the webbing.

Merrill, playing on his 21st birthday, wound up with a hustle double as Guerrero took some time to soak in what just happened. Unlike on the earlier “mitt-fire” that saw Cronenworth’s leather ripped apart, Guerrero’s glove appeared mostly intact. He still jogged to the visitors' dugout for a replacement.

“When I was running, I couldn’t see it went through the glove,” Merrill said. “Still got to take the extra base on it. Kind of crazy.”

Unlike Wade in Korea, Blue Jays manager John Schneider said he has seen that kind of play before -- by Guererro, no less.

"He's got to get something different going on with that webbing,” Schneider said. “I don't know. Weird. You know what I mean? Weird.”

One other difference between the two bizarre plays: Toronto pitcher Yariel Rodríguez stranded the runners to escape the inning. In Korea, the inclement leather keyed a four-run inning for the Dodgers.