For the Houston Astros, the highlights have been few and far between in recent seasons. That wasn't the case on Friday night though thanks to Brandon Barnes. In one inning, Houston's center fielder made sure fans at Minute Maid Park saw not just one spectacular catch, but two spectacular catches.
The first of his defense gems was probably the best. With Hank Conger leading off the third inning for the Los Angeles Angels, Barnes was forced to cover a lot of ground in Houston's tricky and dangerous center field to run down a slicing flyball ticketed for halfway up the wall. Incredibly, Barnes was able to run it down, and even more impressively he was able to hold on after crashing into the wall with some pretty heavy force.
Honestly, that play alone would have been worthy of our recognition and a hat tip. But he was just getting started.
Two batters later, J.B. Shuck decided to test Barnes' ability to charge a flyball by looping a soft fly into shallow right center. That didn't work either. Despite shading Shuck more into left center, Barnes raced across, hit the ground on a full out dive, and reeled into another tremendous grab. On another day, it could have been the defensive play of the day. On Friday, it wasn't even his best play in the third inning.
Pretty crazy. Though maybe not as crazy as Mike Trout having to settle for a bronze medal.
Yes, the Angels phenom made another great play of his own, but I'm still giving the gold and silver to Barnes.
You probably won't hear any complaining from Trout though. His Angels ended up taking home the victory, 4-2.