Chris Taylor has proven to be a valuable defender at nearly every position on the field, which was part of the reason he was so important for the Los Angeles Dodgers to re-sign this offseason.
Taylor has shown his defensive ability time and time again, but he truly stood out when he replaced Gold Glove finalist AJ Pollock in left field on Sept. 24 in a must-win game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Taylor did not start any of the three previous games due to lingering neck trouble, but the utilityman pinch-hit before staying in to play the field. He wound up making a diving catch and sliding grab in the bottom of the ninth inning of a two-run game, which the DodgerBlue.com staff ranked as the Dodgers’ No. 4 play of the season.
With no outs at the start of the inning, David Peralta hit a line drive down the left-field line that had an expected batting average of .450. Taylor sprinted over and as it was close to dropping, dove to make a spectacular catch.
CT3 putting on a clinic. 😳 pic.twitter.com/zLp0fGdlUP
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 25, 2021
The following batter, Pavin Smith hit a weak fly ball down the line that would have been routine in most circumstances, but Taylor was shifted toward the gap, so he had a long way to go.
Taylor once again sprinted over into the corner of the field and made the catch as he slid to avoid a collision with the wall.
Kenley Jansen then followed by striking out Carson Kelly to win the game and keep the Dodgers hopes alive in the National League West title race.
“I’m not sure if I’m making either one of those,” Pollock said after the win. “We might still be playing if Chris Taylor is not in the game. He made some unbelievable plays.”
Top Dodgers plays from 2021
No. 5: Cody Bellinger walk-off home run
No. 6: AJ Pollock robs Manny Machado of home run
No. 7: Will Smith walk-off home runs vs. Giants
No. 8: Mookie Betts completes 360-degree spin double play
No. 9: Trea Turner scores from first base on infield single
No. 10: Justin Turner, World Series ring ceremony
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