OK, so a July regular-season game in Texas isn't a postseason game, but Dustin Pedroia's bare-handed catch and throw in the Red Sox' 7-5,11-inning victory over the Rangers drew instant comparison's to Derek Jeter's flip play and might be the best defensive play Pedroia has ever made.
The comparisons to Jeter's famous flip in the 2001 ALDS to get Oakland's Jeremy Giambi (why didn't he just slide?!) at the plate immediately came to mind.
Wait … WHAT?— MLB (@MLB) July 4, 2017
@15Lasershow, you deserve ALL the 👏👏👏. pic.twitter.com/XROzim9cy8
Flip out, Derek Jeter. It’s your birthday. pic.twitter.com/zwIim4WR0g— MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) June 26, 2017
In the ninth inning Monday night, after the Rangers had tied it at 5 on Mike Napoli's home run off Craig Kimbrel, Carlos Gomez dribbled a swinging bunt that Sox third baseman Deven Marrero charged and fielded then threw errantly past first baseman Mitch Moreland.
Gomez made the turn toward second - where he would've represented the winning run with nobody out - but Pedroia, on the outfield grass behind first, fielded the carom of the wild throw bare-handed and threw to Moreland who put the tag on a scrambling Gomez as he was diving back to first.
It was the capper of a stellar night for Pedroia, who drove in four runs and made two other standout defensive plays as the Sox won their fifth in a row.
“He’s a lot of great seasons here, a lot of great games. Tonight might be one of the better games he’s ever played in this uniform,” Red Sox manager John Farrell told Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe. “He was the right man at the right spot at the plate. He was everywhere defensively.”
Pedroia told reporters he was just doing his job.
“I was just backing up the base. I mean, I do it every time,” he said. “I think our infielders, we take pride in backing up bases and making sure if there is an overthrow, you’re there for your guy. So it just worked out for us.
“It just kicked off in the right spot and I was able to get to it and Mitch was able to get back to the base. So it was a big play, especially after they just tied the game.”