The Indians pulled out a 5-2, extra-innings victory against the Blue Jays at Rogers Centre on Monday afternoon, but they may not have had that opportunity if it wasn’t for newly acquired center fielder Myles Straw.
It was the bottom of the ninth with the score tied at two, and Bryan Shaw, who hasn’t been nearly as dominant in his last six trips to the rubber, was set to face Teoscar Hernández to open the frame. On the fourth consecutive cutter he saw, Hernández laced a 103.6 mph shot into the right-center gap that looked like it was going to result in extra bases.
“When it was hit, I said, ‘Oh [shoot],’ quietly,” Indians acting manager DeMarlo Hale said with a grin on his face. “But then when I picked him up, I saw him gaining, and what a catch.”
“I think he hit it like 103-point-something and like 20-something degrees. So you know, I’m into all those metrics and stuff,” Straw said. “Usually that’s a pretty good chance of high off the wall or something close. You know, I’d like to always think I have a chance on a ball in the gap. … So I thought I had a good chance off the bat and sure enough I was able to get to it.”
Sure enough, he was. Despite it having an .830 expected batting average, Straw got in the way. He broke back toward the warning track…