Along with four straight Gold Gloves and three All-Star Game appearances, you can probably add “perfectionist” to the resume of Colorado Rockies third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Ahead of the 2017 Home Run Derby Monday in Miami, Arenado, and fellow All-Star Bryce Harper, joined MLB Network’s “Intentional Talk,” wherein co-host Kevin Millar called one of the Rockies infielder’s defensive highlights the “play of the year.”
The play: A line shot to third base from San Francisco Giants pitcher Ty Blach in which Arenado stopped, grabbed the ball off the dirt at full reach as it trickled away, rolled over his side, and whipped a pitch to first base for the second out of the third inning.
“… You making this play on your back and throwing a strike. Bro, you don’t know how hard this is. He made it look easy,” Millar said.
But, it was the bobble on the dive that made the spectacular play possible that had Arenado downplaying the web gem.
“Obviously, it’s a great play, but I’ve got to make that play, man. I hit it off my glove,” Arenado said. “I hurt my palm diving for the ball. It hit my palm instead of hitting my glove. It turned out looking good, but I’ve got to make that play before that.”
And it’s quite possible Arenado may be the only person upset with the play, other than perhaps Giants fans.
After the play, which happened on a road trip to San Francisco in late June, MLB Network analyst Harold Reynolds said the play could be one of the best he’s “ever seen.”
“This play, it goes down as one of the tops. It looks spectacular in itself, but if you look at all the things he does in this ground ball, it’s absolutely amazing,” Reynolds said.
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