While Matt Chapman barely is hitting above the Mendoza Line this season, his glove hasn't gone into a slump.
It actually might be impossible for the glove of the Athletics' third baseman to go into a slump. That's how good Chapman is on defense.
In the bottom of the seventh inning in the A's game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field on Saturday, Chapman showed exactly why he's a two-time Platinum Glove winner.
With the A's leading 4-1, the Twins loaded the bases with two outs. Manager Bob Melvin called on veteran reliever Yusmeiro Petit to try to wiggle out of the jam, and he got Luis Arraez to pop up down the third base line.
Chapman raced into foul territory and made an incredible catch while falling over the rolled up tarp down the left field line.
For the moment, Chapman had preserved the lead for the A's and the smile on his face as he ran back to the dugout was proof of just how impressive the play was.
Minnesota would score four runs in the bottom of the eighth and go on to beat Oakland 5-4, but Chapman's play kept the A's in the game. Arraez has been one of the Twins' best hitters this season, so it's very possible he would have driven in a few runs if his pop had gotten out of play or Chapman hadn't been able to catch it while falling over the tarp.
A's starter Cole Irvin, who was responsible for all three runners on base at the time of Chapman's catch, was asked to rank it among all the great plays the third baseman has made during his career.
"Chappy's unbelievable. I mean, that's definitely up there," Irvin told reporters after the loss. "Got to be top two. Can't think of anything off the top of my head that I've been able to see like that, in person, in a jam where [Yusmeiro Petit] is kind of picking me up, Chappy picked me up for sure so that was an awesome play. I was so excited. I'm not sure if the dugout caught my emotions, but I was on the top step, screaming and hollering -- that was an awesome play."
Chapman went 0-for-4 on Saturday, dropping his slash line to .210/.319/.377 this season. While the A's could use more offensive production from him, they are fully aware his defense more than makes up for his shortcomings at the plate.