After Kirk Nieuwenhuis walked to lead off the bottom of the 5th, Hernan Perez doubled into the left field corner to drive in the Brewers’ second run. That’s what the box score will tell you. What it won’t tell you is that Willson Contreras almost pegged the runner trying to score.
Playing in left, the displaced catcher had to play the ball on a carom off the wall. He took a Heyward-esque angle on it, moving forward and to his right to barehand the ball and step into the throw. Nieuwenhuis was rounding third and heading for home by this point, so the play wasn’t even close.
Until it was.
From a couple steps shy of the warning track, Contreras let loose a heat-seeking Cespedes of a throw that traced a beautiful parabola from his right hand to the plate. Miguel Montero was unable to catch it cleanly, though the ball reached the plate a hair too late to catch the runner anyway.
Holy hell, Willy. pic.twitter.com/bteGD7FdNy
— Tim Baffoe (@TimBaffoe) July 23, 2016
Despite its ultimate futility, there’s no denying the incredible individual effort required to even make this a close play. From reading it off the wall to scooping it to unleashing that tracer right to the plate. And this is a catcher, sort of. That’s nuts.