Our college summer intern, Rohan Nadkarni, caught up this morning with Rob Brantly after a trying game, both offensively and defensively. Here's his report:
Marlins catcher Rob Brantly came to the plate in the ninth inning of Saturday’s game against the Indians with a chance to redeem himself. His ground ball out to first summed up his entire day – the result didn’t match the effort.
Brantly stepped into the batters’ box with runners on second and third with one out in a 4-3 game but couldn’t deliver a big hit and bring home a win.
“Those moments are what we play for,” Brantly said. “You want to do it for your teammates. You try to stay within yourself.”
The catcher didn’t necessarily stay within himself earlier in the game, and his up-and-down play ultimately benefitted Cleveland’s offense. The Indians stole six bases, and he said their aggression on the basepaths led him to be “a little overaggressive” in return.
“That was good, hard baseball,” Brantly said. “The anticipation of their aggression got me a little over-amped, and that ended up costing us a little bit.”
Brantly is referring to a throwing error he made in the third inning.
Michael Bourn started the inning by stealing second, and then he advanced to third on a wild pitch. Off the pitch, Brantly attempted to make a spinning throw to catch Bourn at third, but the ball sailed into the outfield, allowing Bourn to score.
Fortunately for Brantly, the veteran leadership of fellow catcher Jeff Mathis and manager Mike Redmond, a former catcher, helped him navigate the tough outing.
"Jeff and Red pull me aside all the time,” Brantly said. “Jeff was first on the scene yesterday, and he told me, ‘We’re going to make aggressive mistakes.’ But those are the ones you want to make.
“Yesterday was rough, but I feel like a completely different catcher from the beginning of the year.”