Jackie Bradley Jr. didn’t start Saturday’s game against the Los Angeles Angels. The Boston Red Sox outfielder finished the contest, though, ultimately playing more innings than the guy he replaced.
Bradley entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning of the Red Sox’s 5-4, 19-inning loss to the Angels. The 24-year-old took over in center field as Brock Holt shifted to right field — Daniel Nava exited the contest — and again showed his defensive prowess in Boston’s losing effort.
Bradley, who absolutely robbed Howie Kendrick in the ninth inning of Friday’s series opener, decided once wasn’t enough. He made a tremendous tumbling grab in the ninth inning of Saturday’s middle game to take another hit away from Kendrick.
But, of course, Bradley had more defensive wizardry up his sleeve. The slick-fielding outfielder made a superb sliding catch in the 15th inning to spoil C.J. Cron’s hopes of a hit.
The drawback of Bradley’s effort in the Red Sox’s marathon loss, however, was that he couldn’t bust out of his offensive slump. Bradley put a couple of good swings on the ball but went 0-for-4 en route to extending his hitless streak to 0-for-31.
Sunday marks a new day. The hits might not come, but dazzling defensive plays have become a sure thing.