SAN FRANCISCO — Dominican Republic left fielder Moises Sierra made the defensive play of the night on Monday when he dove into the AT&T Park stands and caught a foul ball hit by Andruw Jones of the Netherlands. The grab ended the top half of the first inning, stranded a Dutch runner at third and limited the Netherlands to the only run it'd score in the Dominican's 4-1 victory in the World Baseball Classic semifinal.
What made Sierra's grab particularly impressive was that he did it on the opposite side of a Netherlands fan who looked like he was about to catch the ball with his own glove. But it was Sierra who actually came up with the ball, which was a quite different result than the last time a Dominican ballplayer named Moises competed with a fan for a ball during an important game.
Yes, the similarities between Sierra's grab and the ill-fated attempt by Moises Alou during Game 6 of the 2003 NLCS between the Chicago Cubs and Florida Marlins at Wrigley Field weren't lost on anyone. Alou, who is serving as GM of the Dominican team, even pointed out the resemblance after the game saying that the interfering fan even had "glasses like (Steve) Bartman."
"(But) maybe that's a good sign," Alou then offered. "He caught the ball. Maybe we're going to win the championship."
Indeed, there does seem to be some fate at play with the undefeated Dominicans this year. Ricardo Nanita was originally slated to play left field until a late switch put Sierra, a 24-year-old in the Toronto Blue Jays organization, in that position. In addition to the catch, Sierra hit a fifth-inning double that drove in Carlos Santana with the tying run that keyed a four-run rally.
"Today (Moises) showed the kind of ballplayer that he is and all of his amazing talent," Dominican manager Tony Pena said. "That's one of the most important parts of this game."
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