J.J. Hardy might have felt like he went back in time.
On Tuesday night, the Baltimore Orioles shortstop launched what looked like a home run off Los Angeles Angels pitcher Jason Vargas. That was until centerfielder Peter Bourjos flew above the wall to make a marvelous catch and rob the Orioles of two runs. It was quite the impressive grab on its own. But when you start to notice the coincidences, things get eerie.
Remember that catch Mike Trout made in Baltimore last year to steal a home run? Who was hitting then? Oh, right, J.J. Hardy. Wasn't that in the first inning just like Hardy's not-quite homer on Tuesday? It was. And also in June.
Here's the video comparison of the two catches — hit to different sides of the field, but pretty similar otherwise:
Keeping with the symmetry: Even the reactions from Angels TV analyst Mark Gubicza were similar.
• Trout last season: "He's way over the wall ... That's an unbelievable play."
• Bourjos on Tuesday: "That is well over the wall ... That is unbelievable."
Hardy can take solace in two things: His team won the game and he leads the American League in All-Star voting among shortstops. If he makes that team, Mike Trout won't be able to steal a homer from him. He'll be Hardy's teammate.