Michael Conforto’s best Mets moments #3: Juggling catch vs. Orioles 9/10/20
This is another one of Conforto’s web gems that saved a game.
Chasen Shreve started the top of the 6th inning and got Cedric Mullins to pop out to Dom Smith at first base. Luis Rojas then brought in Jared Hughes to face the upcoming right-handed hitters. It looked like a good move at first, as Jose Iglesias lined out to Jeff McNeil in left field for the second out.
Then, Hughes lost control of the strike zone. He didn’t throw a single strike to Renato Nunez, walking him on four pitches. He then hit DJ Stewart on a 2-2 pitch, and then he hit Ryan Mountcastle on a 3-2 pitch. Rojas made another call to the bullpen, opting for lefty Justin Wilson to face Rio Ruiz with the bases loaded.
Ruiz got a front-door cutter low and in and drove it deep to right-center. Conforto sprinted straight back to the 370 sign by the bullpen bench. He leaped from the edge of the warning track, stuck out his arm, and snowconed the ball. As he landed, the ball started to roll out of his glove, but he secured it to insure the out before stopping himself in front of the fence.
Wilson put his arms up in shock. Ruiz put his hands on his head in disbelief as he approached second base. Smith was looking around the ballpark with his jaw wide open.
Statcast tells us that Conforto had only 4.9 seconds to cover the 78 feet from his starting position to the spot where he caught the ball. That ball only had a 20% catch probability, and he pulled it off to save three runs. The Mets would eventually win the game 7-6.