Though he won't score high fundamentally for his approach to this flyball on Saturday night, San Diego Padres center fielder Alexi Amarista at least gets a bonus for style, creativity and all around entertainment.
Basically, Amarista screwed the play up. He misread the flyball off the bat of Kelly Johnson so badly that he was running in the wrong direction and looking over the wrong shoulder for 95-percent of his route. Yet somehow, someway, as the ball quickly descended, he was able to recover and make what amounted to a pretty remarkable circus catch.
Honestly, I don't know how else to describe it. People will argue it wasn't a great play because it took a screw up to reach the outcome. I'll buy that, but it doesn't make it any less impressive from an athletic standpoint. And the effort, though flawed, deserves some praise as well. Especially when you consider Amarista spends just as much of his time in the field playing infield as he does outfield. He's a guy that's happy to play anywhere, so long as he's playing at all.
For that, I tip my cap and recognize the play.
Unfortunately for the Padres, though, despite the fact that no damage was done and they actually rallied to take a 7-6 lead the following inning, Evan Longoria got the last word for Tampa with his fifth career walkoff home run.