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Play of the Day: Victor Martinez’s no-look flip

Jun 23, 2013, 10:55 PM EDT

Victor Martinez isn’t exactly known for his defense at first base, but the Tigers’ DH was happy to show it off in the sixth inning of today’s game against the Red Sox. With one out and the bases empty, center fielder Jacoby Ellsbury pulled a grounder that was destined for the corner in right field. Martinez dove to his left, knocking the ball down. As the ball slowly rolled away and Ellsbury thundered towards the first base bag, Martinez made the only possible play: he checked for pitcher Drew Smyly covering the bag, then reached for the ball and flipped it behind his back for the out.

For a full-time DH and former catcher who has logged all of 79 defensive innings at first base over the last two seasons, this is a very impressive play.

  1. norvturnersneck - Jun 23, 2013 at 11:36 PM

    I love how Ellsbury pats him on the back to let him know it was a great play.

    • bla bla bla - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:49 AM

      That really does add something to it. I missed it on the first viewing. Thanks for pointing it out.

  2. chew1985 - Jun 24, 2013 at 1:32 AM

    Slide into first-help out the defense.

  3. Minoring In Baseball - Jun 24, 2013 at 2:00 AM

    V-Mart has been around an knows how to play the game. We’ll take a play like that anytime, though. It was a good series for the Tigers.

  4. theskinsman - Jun 24, 2013 at 4:54 AM

    Great play, this Sox fan tips the cap to the Tigers on this series. Now, maybe,just maybe the Red Sox might need to call up some pitching help???

  5. proudlycanadian - Jun 24, 2013 at 7:22 AM


  6. stex52 - Jun 24, 2013 at 9:41 AM

    Saw it on TV. Gotta love it.

  7. mgv38 - Jun 24, 2013 at 11:22 AM

    I happened to be at the game, sitting above 1B. What was most impressive is that Martinez DID NOT check to see if Smyly were covering the bag. He just flipped the ball in that direction. If he had looked back, that might have cost him the out. Cool.

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