Matt Chapman had a career night at the plate and in the field on Saturday in the Athletics' 8-3 win over the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Field. And it was a feat that almost didn’t happen.
Chapman was scheduled to have the day off, but with shortstop Elvis Andrus out on paternity leave and Josh Harrison dealing with a right quad strain, the everyday third baseman had to remain in the starting lineup.
And it was a good thing for the A's that Chapman played Saturday. He went 2-for-4 with two home runs, with the second being his 100th career long ball, but it was a defensive masterpiece that had the team buzzing on this night.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Brock Holt hit what should have been an outfield blooper.
Not on Chapman's watch.
“Definitely got to be one of the best plays I’ve ever made in my life for sure,” Chapman said. “They all think it’s the best play I ever made, I got to believe it’s up there for sure, but it just feels good to make plays like that I feel like I hadn’t made a diving play like that in a while so that was just a lot of fun.”
Chapman had no business catching the ball, but that's why he's a two-time Platinum Glove Award winner. He makes the plays most can't.
“I love to go an get all the fly balls I can, especially trying to get outs for the pitchers and allows for the outfielders to play a little deeper if I can go get some of those," Chapman said. "But that one off the bat, I feel like I got a good jump and it felt like I wasn’t getting close to it, I wasn’t getting close to it, and then finally I felt like I was in a spot where I can make the catch and I dove and when I hit the ground, it felt like it was in my glove and it was and I was pretty excited and obviously I just turned around and chucked it.”
A’s manager Bob Melvin was just as impressed, despite being used to the defensive gems Chapman has produced over the years.
"That play today, I don't know what to say about that ... I don't know if anyone else makes that play,” Melvin said.
Chapman’s production at the plate was just as impressive.
Hitting his 100th career home run would be the overall highlight of the night, Chapman said. That will be what he thinks about when he puts his head on the pillow in Texas.
“I knew I had the chance to get to 100 homers and this season probably hasn’t gone how I drew it offensively, but that’s OK,” Chapman said. “To get to 100 homers feels great and I definitely going to cherish this one and try to build off of -- I feel like I’ve been taking some good at-bats the next few days and I’m seeing the ball better, keep trying to take at-bats like that.”
“Hopefully it’s the first of many milestones,” Chapman added.