DENVER — With the San Diego Padres holding a 3-2 edge over the Colorado Rockies on Saturday and the tying run at third base, Manny Machado made a highlight reel catch in the bottom of the eighth inning that was all the talk after the game.
The Padres would go on to win the game by that 3-2 score thanks in part to not only an athletic catch by Machado, but also his unbelievable throw after it that would have likely nailed Colorado's Ezequiel Tovar at home plate had he tried to advance on the catch in foul ground.
Watch the jaw-dropping catch and throw below, as well as the stunned reactions to the play being made.
San Diego Padres: What Manny Machado said about the catch
In the clubhouse after the game, Machado discussed the play (which he described as "pretty sick") and what he was thinking throughout it.
"It's just tricky. Sometimes when it gets on the line, sometimes it tends to go out into the stands, but if it's far enough down the line, it's probably gonna stay in," Machado said. "In that situation, running down there, it's kind of tough because you kind of don't want to catch that, especially with me running back because it's easy to tag and probably a difficult throw to make running back. Ultimately, you just got to take a gamble and just try to catch it and keep that guy there (on third base)."
Was there a point where he thought he shouldn't catch it?
"No, once I went for it, you have to go for it. Once you make the decision, you have to go for it. Running down there, I was like 'Do I catch it or not?' Is it deep enough?' I think it was kind of like in that in between there. If I did catch it, I'll be able to put something on it to get the guy out," Machado said. "Those are all the thoughts going through your head. You just don't know what's going to happen. You're just hoping doesn't go far enough. If it does kind of get deep, if I catch that, I probably won't even throw him out, especially because he's a fast runner. It was in that buffer zone where you can take a gamble and catch it and try to make a throw.
"The ball kind of came back on me and I had to slide. I got all tangled up and it made the play a little bit nicer. It's just one of those instinct things."
Did the ball bobble into Machado's face or cap?
"I have no idea what the hell happened. It hit me somewhere. I don't know where. My nose is hurting. My lip was hurting. I'm glad the runner didn't score."
Have you watched the replay yet?
"No, not yet, but will for sure."
The ball looked like it finally bounced into your bare hand. Did that help on the throw?
"Oh, definitely that helps. I got back there and Tovar told me, 'Man, nice catch, but I think it was more of an impressive throw you made. It was a one-hop throw.' I didn't even see it. I just threw it. I didn't even know what happened. But yeah, it was pretty sick."