JBJ wasted no time flashing the leather.
The Boston Red Sox held off the Pittsburgh Pirates for a 5-3 win Monday afternoon on Opening Day at Fenway Park, and center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. showed early in the game why he’s considered one of the best defenders in all of Major League Baseball.
Pirates catcher Francisco Cervelli smoked a ball toward the triangle in the fourth inning with the game still scoreless. It looked at first like it might land for an extra-base hit, but Bradley got an excellent jump and raced all the way back to the warning track to make a phenomenal catch. Red Sox starter Rick Porcello certainly appreciated the effort.
Statcast gave the grab three stars, which might be underselling it a little bit given how much ground Bradley covered to make the running catch.
Bradley, who’s coming off a breakout 2016 season, also tripled and scored a run, so it’s safe to say he’s having no trouble knocking off any rust to begin the 2017 season.