In the top of the fourth inning of Saturday’s New York Yankees‘ game, the Los Angeles Angels had pitcher Vidal Nuno on the ropes. The lefty starter had already given up two runs in the frame to allow the Angels to tie the game, and now appeared to be in deeper trouble with runners on first and third and two outs.
Then No. 9 hitter J.B. Shuck came to the plate, and hit a blooper into shallow left-center field that looked like a sure base hit. This was until centefielder Jacoby Ellsbury came into the picture and made a diving run saving grab.
Instead of allowing the Angels to take a lead, and potentially do more damage with the top of their lineup coming to the plate, Ellsbury got his team back in the dugout.
This key moment was crucial in the Yankees coming away with a 4-3 victory in the game. So far, in his time as a Bronx Bomber, Ellsbury has proven that he is capable of being a difference maker and making the type of big plays that win ball games.
In center field, he is able to get to almost any ball and has the sort of outfield range that will save plenty of runs for the Yankees this season.
On the base paths he has already stolen eight bags, and has only been caught twice. At the plate, he has a .322 batting average, including an incredible .417 average against left-handed pitching.
Ellsbury has also done extremely well against his former club, posting a .345 average and 6 RBIs in 29 at bats against the Boston Red Sox this year.
For years, Yankee fans groaned over how a player with all the speed that Brett Gardner possessed could not develop more consistency at the plate. Well, now it seems they finally have that more consistent speedy outfielder, and he’s playing alongside Gardner in center field.