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Thursday, April 21, 2005

Highlight Reel Performance

4/21/05 Tino Martinez Between Feet of Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera - Photo by Frank Gunn, CP.

Loyal Tino Martinez fan that I am, I just have to brag on the guy tonight. How did he end up on the artificial turf between the feet of the catcher and the pitcher? Be sure to check out the video of this spectacular (and dangerous!) diving catch at (If it's not still on the front page by the time you get there, check here.) You can tell Tino fully expected one of his teammates to step on him, but fortunately, that didn't happen.

Thanks to Martinez' diving catch in the ninth, Rivera didn't get in deeper trouble.

Playing well behind first base, Martinez had the longest path to the pop up. Jorge Posada camped under the ball, but Rivera yelled for Martinez, so Posada backed off. But then the three players made eye contact with each other and Martinez figured he would have to dive for the ball.

"I knew I had to catch the ball after that," Martinez said. "I dove for the ball. I didn't know where everybody was."

George King, New York Post, 4/22/05

The Yanks were lucky to survive the ninth, which began with Hillenbrand's simple leadoff infield pop up.

As Rivera, Posada and Tino Martinez converged, no one called for the ball. Martinez knew they were in trouble "when we all made eye contact with each other," but Martinez lunged forward at the last second to make a diving grab.

"I don't know how Tino caught that ball," Torre said.

Pete Caldera,, 4/22/05

Rivera saved it in the ninth, with an assist from first baseman Tino Martinez.

Shea Hillenbrand led off the inning with a seemingly harmless infield pop-up between the mound and the first-base line. Rivera drifted over, catcher Jorge Posada drifted out, and Martinez, who was playing back, drifted in.

It was Martinez's ball, but he was late to arrive. "All three of us made eye contact," Martinez said. "That's not a good thing."

With the ball falling fast, Martinez took charge, plunging forward and belly-flopping on the turf as the ball landed in his glove. Rivera nearly tripped over Martinez after the catch, and Martinez smiled when he got up, relieved.

Tyler Kepner, New York Times, 4/22/05

11:57:27 PM    

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Last update: 8/25/2005; 4:45:28 PM.


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