Carlos Correa hadn’t played a game in over two weeks, but his glove showed no signs of rust.
The Minnesota Twins shortstop, who had been sidelined since Sept. 18 with a left foot injury, made an early candidate for defensive gem of the playoffs in the fourth inning of Game 1 of the wild-card series Tuesday.
With runners on first and second and two outs, Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Kevin Kiermaier hit a slow roller to third base. Jorge Polanco charged the ball but had it go under his glove. Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette noticed the misplay rounding third and began sprinting home, only to have Correa run over and fire the ball to the plate for the inning-ending out to maintain the Twins’ 3-0 lead.
Carlos Correa saves a run with an INCREDIBLE heads-up play! 😱pic.twitter.com/rlJtvRnkd1
— Foul Territory (@FoulTerritoryTV) October 3, 2023
Gameday3D: Carlos Correa’s heads-up defense saves a run for the Twins
Got rid of a 73.2 mph throw in 0.50 seconds to get Bo Bichette at the plate
Correa POV + Overhead view pic.twitter.com/jxyCsA9eXi
— David Adler (@_dadler) October 3, 2023
With the Blue Jays struggling to score early off López, Bichette said he thought the risk was worth taking.
“I thought he’d have to make a great play to get me out, and he did,” said Bichette, according to Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com.
The play helped López preserve his pitch count and go deeper into the game. The right-hander allowed one run over 5 2/3 innings before handing the ball over to the bullpen in the 3-1 win.
“Once I saw Bo look at the ball, I knew he had intentions,” Correa said. “I could see in his eyes, he had intentions of being aggressive. I just went after him.”
The 2021 Gold Glove winner added: “I’ve said it many times before in the playoffs, and I’ll say it again: Defense wins championships.”
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