Originally published by DodgerBlue.com
AJ Pollock finished as a finalist for a Gold Glove Award in left field and although he was bested by St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Tyler O’Neill, the Los Angeles Dodgers’ left fielder posted an outs above average rating 13% better than league average.
Pollock showed off part of the reason why he was a Gold Glove finalist in a 5-2 victory against the San Diego Padres on Aug. 24, when he leaped up to rob Manny Machado of a go-ahead home run, which the DodgerBlue.com staff ranked as the No. 6 play from the 2021 season.
In the bottom of the fourth inning with L.A. leading 1-0, Tommy Pham drew a leadoff walk and two batters later, Machado stepped to the plate facing Julio Urias. Urias threw a slider at the bottom of the zone and Machado belted it to deep left field.
The ball was hit at 104.6 mph, traveled 379 feet and had an expected batting average of .600. As it was approaching the wall, Pollock leaped up and was able to grab it before it landed in the stands.
The robbery came just three days after Pollock was the brunt of jokes inside the Dodgers’ clubhouse for failing to make a play on a fly ball when he crashed into the wall while attempting to jump and didn’t get more than an inch off the ground before falling to the ground. The result was a home run for the New York Mets’ Pete Alonso.
“Honestly, I was thinking about my last time I tried to rob a homer and embarrassed myself,” Pollock said after the Dodgers’ win at Petco Park. “I kind of saw it was carrying a little bit, got near the wall and I just didn’t want to jump late like I did last time and run into the wall.
— SportsNet LA (@SportsNetLA) August 25, 2021
“The timing was right and I was able to make the grab. … That’s kind of me just saying, ‘Don’t embarrass yourself like last time.’ The ball is right there, and you run into the wall when you’re about to jump, you look very unathletic. It’s just a mental thing.
“I wanted to make sure I got the jump off. Sometimes you don’t know quite where you are on the field, and that’s what happened last time. I thought I had another step, and I didn’t. I speared the wall on my way up and looked stupid. Just kind of made that little adjustment.”
Top Dodgers plays from 2021
No. 6: AJ Pollock robs Manny Machado of home run
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