Lindor down, Miggy out

Let’s take a walk through the latest defensive gem from Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor, via the words of players and managers:

Lindor: “Usually every shortstop, second baseman or third baseman, your first two steps, you know where you’re going to go with the play. You know you’re going to dive or be standing up. Sometimes — I’m not saying 100 percent — but most of the time, you know what you’re going to do with the ball.”

Seventh inning on Saturday: Tigers Miguel Cabrera rips an 89-mph cutter from starter Corey Kluber. The baseball soars off the bat at 106.6 mph and drops hard to the dirt in front of Lindor, creating a difficult short-hop for the shortstop.

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Lindor: “I had nowhere else to go. As soon as he hit it, usually you take one step back with your left leg or right leg so you can get around the ball, but I couldn’t turn. It was quick, and after that, I was like, well, I have to either keep it in front of me or find a way to catch the ball. I just threw the glove and it got me.”

Indians catcher Yan Gomes: “That was really weird, man. It was an absolute rocket right at him. It’s one of those where … he didn’t know which way to go. It kind of just caught him. I mean, he put his glove out. If not, it’s going to hit him right in the stomach.”

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Kluber: “I think the ball caught him. Topspin must have knocked him down, I guess. It was funny, but at the same time, he kept his head about him.”

Gomes: He tumbled over and, for a second there, I thought, ‘Did he think he caught it in the air or something?’ Because he wasn’t getting up very fast. But, he’s got enough arm strength where he can get up and just let it fire.”

Lindor: “I tried to get up as fast as I could. I fell and the only thing I saw when I looked up were my toes, the white part of my cleats. I was like, ‘Uh oh!’ So, I got up and threw the ball. I was close [to doing a backwards somersault]. I was close. I tried to stay as stiff as possible so I wouldn’t roll over.”

Tigers manager Brad Ausmus:“It doesn’t surprise me that if anyone’s going to knock someone over, it’d be Miggy. He hits the ball hard. The ball comes off his bat with a little more acceleration than most.”

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Indians manager Terry Francona: “That was an interesting play. I don’t know if he stayed in front of it or he couldn’t get out of the way of it, but he gathered himself and made a play.”

Kluber: “I was looking around. I think everybody was laughing.”

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Gomes: “He’s been unbelievable. His character and what he brings to the team, you’ve got a young guy hitting in the three hole, that’s pretty impressive. Just how happy he is, I think it really rubs off on the other guys, even some other guys who have been up here for a couple years.”

Kluber:“He’s into every pitch. I don’t want to say guessing where the ball is going to go, but he’s reading where the ball is going to go based on the pitch and he’s obviously got an unbelievable amount of talent. You put all three of those things together and you get plays like the one he made.”

–JB

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