OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The ball went toward deep right field, so Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe made a move in that direction.
But then the wind shifted and carried Jace Peterson’s drive to the right center instead, causing Renfroe to rattle.
He stretched out his glove and – sort of – held it tight. A no-look gripper, if there is such a thing.
“There’s no normal catch to it. You catch it behind your head and backwards. It’s not great, but sometimes you have to do what you have to do,” he said. “There were many different directions. It looks like I’m out there in a circus, but I got it.”
Renfroe actually regularly works on making trick catches during batting practice.
“Now I’ll use it,” he joked.
His amazing no-look grave was one of the highlights of opening day.
Playing his first game with the Angels, Renfroe could only grin from ear to ear after robbing Peterson with a defensive jewel to seal the end of the fifth inning in Los Angeles’ 2-1 loss to the Oakland Athletics on Thursday night begin.
“I’m glad I caught it. Not the way you want to write it down,” Renfroe said.
Run backwards to the wallhe turned around and blindly held up the glove to make the catch just short of the warning lane – without even following the ball with his eyes at the end.
Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani delightedly lifted his arms off the mound and put his hands on his head for a second while other teammates smiled.
“I’m sure he was kind of grateful that I noticed and relieved, too,” Renfroe said.
After circling second base, Peterson glanced back over his shoulder at Renfroe on the right – almost in disbelief.
“I thought it was going to be a 100% hit,” said a giggling Ohtani through interpreter Ippei Mizuhara. “He threw his glove out there and he found the glove.”
“WHAT WAS THAT” the angels posted on Twitter with a shocked emoji face.
Rookie catcher Logan O’Hoppe said: “It was even more impressive to hear how he was going through his mind when he came onto the dugout. He said he had it all the way.”
“He’s lying,” Renfroe said.
But he admitted some expletives came out of his mouth.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Mike Trout, Angels midfielder. “From my point of view, I don’t know what was going on. I watched the replay from the dugout…did you guys see anything like that? Me too.”
More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
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