Cedric Mullins lays out for incredible diving catch

BALTIMORE – “It’s a tough answer,” said Cedric Mullins, the 29-year-old center fielder reflecting after being faced with the tough question:

Was Mullins’ catch in the first inning of the Orioles’ 7-4 win over the Twins at Camden Yards Monday night the best of his career? He has a highlight reel from his seven-year MLB tenure, filled with sensational catches in ballparks across the country.

After a moment of reflection, Mullins gave him the same ranking as his O teammates.

“I would give it a 1,” Mullins said. “The guys gave it a 1. I’ll go with them.”

It’s time to break down Mullins’ last defensive gem.

The Twins had a runner on third base in the first when Kyle Farmer surely thought he had a two-out RBI extra hit after connecting with a 2-2 sinker from Baltimore left-hander Cole Irvin that was left sideways above home plate. . The ball came off Farmer’s bat at an exit velocity of 101.6 mph, according to Statcast, and appeared to be heading toward the left-center field gap.

Mullins had been shaded closer to right center, but he had an excellent jump and ran at an average sprint speed of 28.3 feet per second and covered 70 feet. He then made an incredibly well-timed leap to complete the catch, with the ball landing in his glove while in the air.

“It was a tough catch. Diving away from the field is kind of new,” Mullins said. “There, instincts take over. The reads I get during BP are what lead to this, taking things seriously, making sure I’m getting good jumps on the ball right during BP. It’s the little things that count. »

Irvin greatly appreciated Mullins’ help. The Orioles starter raised both his arms upwards — leaving them there as he began to back off the field — and flashed a huge smile while tipping his cap toward his teammate. On O’s, MASN’s Kevin Brown praised Mullins for making an “impossible catch.”

This wasn’t the first (or even the second) time Irvin benefited from a wonderful Mullins play. Last year, Mullins had a diving home run on July 2 and a stolen home run on July 7 – both games started by Irvin, and both times it was Minnesota’s Byron Buxton who was robbed.

“It seems like every time we play the Twins and I’m on the mound, he’s going to do something pretty cool,” said Irvin, who plans to buy Mullins a bottle of whiskey as a gift. “It might be one of the best pieces I’ve ever had behind me in general. It was one of the coolest pieces. Shoot, I don’t know if I’ll ever see a coin like that while I’m tossing again.

“From the perspective of where I had it, man, it was really cool. I didn’t think there was a chance he’d catch it, and all of a sudden there’s a glove and he’s in it. It’s an incredible piece.

Added Twins manager Rocco Baldelli: “I can’t tell you I thought he was making that play.”

“That play — I think (left fielder Austin) Hays said he felt like he was hovering above the ground for a moment and he caught that ball behind him,” Hyde said. “Ced is a Gold Glove center fielder, and he’s playing great defense for us so far this year again.”

He also rake. Mullins hit one of O’s three home runs Monday, extending his hitting streak to seven games. He’s 9-for-21 (.429) over that span, and he’s tied for the team lead with four home runs.

Mullins has already won MLB’s Electric Play of the Week once this season, and he could soon earn it again. He received this honor for his April 6 catch at Pittsburgh, where he extended the game with a run-saving grab to rob the Pirates’ Ke’Bryan Hayes in the 11th inning.

Mullins’ latest sensational catch — which could end up being one of the best defensive plays of the 2024 season — came while he wore No. 42 for Jackie Robinson Day. Fittingly, the time of opportunity during Monday’s capture was 4.2 seconds, according to Statcast.

“It’s about opportunity, I think that’s what it comes down to,” Mullins said of Robinson’s legacy. “At the end of the day, that’s what he fought for, and so guys and players like me could have this opportunity to play this game at the highest level. So it’s nothing I take for granted.

News Source :
Gn sports

Back to top button