It's one thing to scale the wall and take a home run away from the opponents backup catcher. It's quite another to go above and beyond to take one away from the National League leader and perhaps the strongest hitter in all of baseball.
Cincinnati Reds right fielder Jay Bruce did the latter on Sunday afternoon, timing his leap perfectly, planting one foot in the wall, and then elevating several feet over the right field wall at the Great American Ballpark to take away what would have been Giancarlo Stanton's second home run and his 30th of the season.
Honestly, it's about as good a home run robbery as we've seen this season for a couple of reasons.
First, it's Giancarlo Stanton. We can't emphasize that enough because it's so rare that he'd even bother hitting a potential homer that didn't clear the wall by 30-40 feet. To say you've robbed Stanton of a home run is a big deal because the opportunity may only come once or twice a season.
Second, Bruce really did an excellent job measuring the play up. He used the warning track to his advantage, which seems to have become a lost art in recent days. He knew right where he was on the field. He obviously had a good read on the baseball, because you'll notice he took his eye off it very quickly so he could plant his foot right where he wanted it in the wall. And then he got just the right height on his jump to comfortably make the catch.
Very well played.
And yes, definitely worth smiling about.
Bruce's great catch was a nice capper on a good day for the Reds as they avoided the three-game series sweep with a big 7-2 win. Bruce finished 1 for 3 with a walk and two runs scored.
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