No player likes to be a part of that deflating play that takes all of the air inside of a ballpark and lets it out like a defective balloon in one fell swoop. Alas, when Domonic Brown dove and misplayed a ball in the seventh inning of yesterday’s loss to the Kansas City Royals, the Philadelphia Phillies’ left fielder knew he had made a mistake.
It was the first bit of adversity that Brown has had to face in the early going of this season, which has otherwise been a success.
Had Brown not dove, a run would have scored, the Royals would have taken a 7-4 lead, and the bases would have remained loaded. Maybe Brown was taking a calculated risk that catching the ball was the only way to keep the Phillies in the game, but his dive resulted in the ball skipping to the wall and seeing three Royals touch home plate.
At the plate, Brown hit his first home run of the season, a majestic and towering drive to right field.
It hasn’t been Brown’s offense that has been lacking. Thus far, he has five hits in his first 15 at-bats and has been looking confident and steady at the plate. He still has swung at some pitches that have tied him up on the inside part of the plate, which can make his swing look like a twisted pretzel. By and large, however, Brown’s approach can garner few complaints.
There are few other players on the Phillies roster who have as keen an eye as Brown. In fact, maybe outside of Chase Utley, there’s no other player you’d rather see at the plate if you need to work the count, see some pitches, and draw a walk.
Brown has had a good eye from the day he stepped into professional baseball, which can be a big knock on the game of some young players. His outfield defense is a work in progress in every sense, but it appears his work in spring training at the plate has carried over into April.
For now, the Phillies will just have to take the good with the bad.