Chris Taylor has proven to be a valuable defender in almost 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 prowess time and time again, but he really stood out when he replaced Gold Glove finalist AJ Pollock in left field on September 24 in a game to be won against the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Taylor did not start in any of the previous three games due to persistent neck injuries, but the utility man squeezed before staying inside to play the field. He ended up making a diving catch and a sliding grab in the bottom of the ninth inning of a two-run game, which was ranked by the DodgerBlue.com staff as the number 4 of the season for the Dodgers.
With no outs at the start of the inning, David Peralta lined the left field line with an expected batting average of .450. Taylor sprinted toward him and when he nearly fell, he dove to make a spectacular catch.
CT3 sets up a clinic. 😳 pic.twitter.com/zLp0fGdlUP
– Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) September 25, 2021
The next batter, Pavin Smith, hit a weak flyout down the line that would have been routine in most circumstances, but Taylor was pushed into the hole, so he still had a long way to go.
Taylor sprinted to the corner of the field again and made the catch while sliding to avoid colliding 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 I’ll make either one,” Pollock said after the win. “We might still be playing when Chris Taylor isn’t in the game. He’s made some incredible plays.”
Top Dodgers will play from 2021
No. 5: Cody Bellinger walk-off home run
No. 6: AJ Pollock robs Manny Machado from home run
No. 7: Will Smith walk-off home runs vs. Giants
No. 8: Mookie Betts Completes 360-Degree Doubles
No. 9: Trea Turner scores from first base on an infield single
No. 10: Justin Turner, World Series Ring Ceremony
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