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‘Threw my glove up’: Longoria thwarts bases-loaded threat

‘Threw my glove up’: Longoria thwarts bases-loaded threat

7:00 AM UTC

MILWAUKEE — D-backs manager Torey Lovullo was asked before his team’s 6-3 victory in Game 1 of the National League Wild Card Series on Tuesday night why he chose veteran Evan Longoria to start at third base.

“I just like the stability of the human being and the stability of the at-bat, the heartbeat,” Lovullo said. “I just think he’s got the right makeup and heartbeat for what this team is going to be walking through.”

Longoria made his manager look quite smart in the fifth inning when he made the defensive play of the game.

With the D-backs clinging to a 4-3 lead, the Brewers had the bases loaded with one out and Tyrone Taylor at the plate. The dangerous Christian Yelich loomed on deck.

Then Taylor smoked a line drive that looked headed for left field and at least one, if not two, runs. But the 37-year-old Longoria leaped to his left, snared the ball, fell to his knees and doubled Willy Adames off second base to end the inning.

“Incredible,” D-backs first baseman Christian Walker said. “You know, the guy just continues to rise to the occasion when we need him. Not only is he an excellent veteran presence, but when the moment calls for it, he is amazing. He comes through for us whether it’s at the plate or in the field.”

Longoria said he was looking for a ground ball in that situation, so his awareness was heightened. The rest was just instinct.

“I kind of just jumped and threw my glove up,” Longoria said. “It’s just a reaction. Sometimes, I don’t even jump for those. And for whatever reason, in that moment, obviously we’re trying to kind of just leave it all out on the field.

“I threw my glove up there. I felt it hit my glove and actually couldn’t believe I caught it. Then, I just looked around the infield to see if anybody had gotten too far off.”

Longoria made another heads-up play one inning later. He fielded an infield chopper by William Contreras while charging across the infield. Longoria bobbled the ball when he was taking it out of his glove and Contreras reached first on the hit, but Longoria was alert enough to see that Yelich had rounded second too hard. 

Longoria flipped the ball to second baseman Ketel Marte, who tagged out Yelich. The Brewers’ left fielder was initially called safe as he attempted a swim move back to the bag, but a D-backs challenge overturned the call.

“Without both of those, it’s a different box score,” Walker said of Longoria’s two plays. “That’s a huge, huge part of why we won tonight.”

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