Have You Ever Seen a Foul Tip Like This?
An overwhelming majority of foul-tip third strikes aren't great theater as there's precious little time between the bat hitting the ball and the ball nestling into the catcher's mitt. It is always impressive to watch a backstop's cat-like reflexes and concentration in corralling these but as theater goes, it tends to leave a bit to be desired.
That's why it was so great to see Minnesota Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers find a new way to inject dramatic flair into the process last night.
After Myles Straw tipped Caleb Thielbar's two-strike delivery, Jeffers was somehow able to follow the unusual flight path and stick out his barehand to secure the out. It doesn't matter how a catcher secures the third swinging strike, as long as it never touches the ground.
Jeffers' half-tumble/half-somersault looked a lot like someone desperately trying to catch their falling phone in mid-air. One wonders if he drew on this specific muscle memory to make the play.
Minnesota went on to win, meaning they are not alone in the American League Central basement anymore. Baby steps.