As a Dodger fan, I root for Nolan Arenado 143 games a year, but I’ve come to understand that enduring great plays against your favorite team is sometimes the price you pay to watch him make great plays against the rest of the league. Arenado’s Colorado Rockies are currently playing a series against the Cincinnati Reds, which means I can just sit back and enjoy the show.
Arenado did not disappoint last night. In the sixth inning of a tie game, he made a diving catch on a line drive by Billy Hamilton, which was doubly impressive because, due to Hamilton’s speed, Arenado was playing in on the grass only about 80 feet from home plate.
After showing off the instincts in the sixth, he put his fearlessness on display in the eighth inning. With the game still tied, Joey Votto hit a foul popup down the behind third base. Arenado ranged over to the stands and battled the Cincinnati faithful to make the catch as he tumbled into the seats.
Here’s video of both plays:
Arenado appeared to whack his right ankle on a seat as he tumbled into the crowd, and he came up limping a bit but stayed in the game. A few minutes later, in the top of the ninth, Arenado broke the 4-4 tie with a sacrifice fly to center on a 98-MPH fastball from Aroldis Chapman to score Charlie Blackmon from third base and give the Rockies the lead (and eventual victory).
Two weeks ago, the Dodgers played what was supposed to be a four-game series in Colorado. One of the games was rained out, and another was shortened to five innings. In the 23 innings that did get played, though, Arenado managed to put on quite a defensive display no matter how loudly I yelled at my television. Here are a few samples for your viewing pleasure, and then if you want more you should search “Arenado” on MLB.com’s videos page.
The Dodgers head back to Colorado next week, but until then, I will be watching and rooting.