For the second straight day in Houston, an outfielder was stealing the show defensively in the Angels-Astros series, and once again his name was not Mike Trout.
On Friday, it was Houston Astros center fielder Brandon Barnes who provided the home fans with not just one, but two defensive gems that would be worthy of play of the day consideration. And he made them both in the very same inning while moving in two different directions. It was a very impressive display to be sure, and it's worth going out of your way to check out if you missed it originally.
Now, as for Saturday, let's just say the outfielder isn't exactly regarded for his defense, or at least not at this stage in his career. He's also not hitting a lick with his .221 average. But hey, let's give Josh Hamilton a break. He could have easily played it safe, but instead he went all out — literally, he was crashing into walls out there — to make two pretty fantastic catches of his own.
The play you saw highlighted at the top was actually Hamilton's second gem. And what a terrific play that was as Hamilton leaped and extended in full gallop to bring back Matt Dominguez's would be home run. I know you'd be hard-pressed to find a better play by Hamilton over his career, and I think it actually holds up pretty well compared to other great catches this season. The effort was tremendous.
Now, I wouldn't put his other great grab — a leaping catch at the wall to take away extra bases from J.D. Martinez — in that category. In fact, when you watch them back-to-back, the former looks like a poor man's version of the latter, but we can't take too much away from it. I mean after all, we're not talking about Trout or Andruw Jones here.
By anybody's standards, the first play was a solid nine. By Hamilton's standards, the second probably rate as an eight or nine as well. Fantastic plays, and also important plays because who knows how different the Angels 7-2 victory may have played out had one or both of those balls landed safely.