Major League Baseball announced that Chris Taylor of the Los Angeles Dodgers took home Play of the Week honors for his throw to help secure a victory over the San Diego Padres last Wednesday night.
The Dodgers once had a 7-2 lead in that game after two home runs off the bat of Joc Pederson, although that slowly evaporated and the game sat at 7-6 with one out in the ninth inning. Kenley Jansen was struggling, issuing a walk in addition to a pair of singles to put runners at the corners, with the tying run being just 90 feet away.
Manny Machado stepped to the plate looking for a walk-off against his former team, and he got a good pitch to hit from Jansen. Machado turned on it and hit a hard line drive to left, although luckily it was right at Taylor for the second out.
Trent Grisham, who runs well, was at third and deciding to tag up and attempt to score the tying run. Taylor came up throwing right away though and fired a perfect one-hop strike to home plate, where Will Smith was waiting and was able to get the tag on Grisham to end the game and secure the 7-6 victory and series win at Petco Park.
Taylor has been a big part of the Dodgers the last few seasons even if he doesn’t get the credit as some of the team’s other stars. In addition to playing great defense at essentially any position, Taylor is also hitting .239/.364/.348 with a home run and seven RBI in 16 games this season.
This marked the second straight week that a Dodgers player earned MLB Play of the Week honors, with Mookie Betts also taking home the award after throwing out Ketel Marte at third base against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Chase Field.
The Dodgers are one of the best defensive teams in the league, and that has clearly been on display so far this season.
Roberts calls Taylor ‘invaluable’ to Dodgers
With everything that Taylor has contributed to the Dodgers so far this season, including the throw against the Padres, manager Dave Roberts recently gave him high praise.
“Chris Taylor is invaluable to me and the organization. I say this a lot about our guys, he’s a pro,” Roberts said. “He does everything the right way, things that come out of his mouth are the right things, he’s all-in. To play whatever position, hit anywhere in the order, come off the bench, whatever I ask of him, he’s in for.”
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