Asked if his fantastic fourth-inning catch in Wednesday’s 2-1 Orioles win would land the coveted top spot on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight’s “Web Gems”, Adam Jones didn’t hold back.
“It should be,” said Jones, the energetic Orioles outfielder who isn’t afraid to speak his mind. “There’s always some good plays, but that’s going to be hard for them to top.”
Jones was hardly alone in his assessment, as his catch –which involved Jones slammed up against the wall and doing a backwards somersault when he hit the ground – gave a scuffling Orioles team a huge lift in what was then a tie game.
“[He’s] just a tremendous athlete,” Orioles closer Kevin Gregg raved of Jones. “You could see it in the outfield today. He looked like [Ken] Griffey with the play against
Jones remarkably held on to the ball –hit by Mariners catcher Miguel Olivo — raising his arm triumphantly in the air when he came up and took a knee.
“I’ve seen him do it plenty of times from right field, but from first base, it puts things in perspective how great of a catch that is,” Nick Markakis said of Jones, who went on to hit a decisive eighth-inning homer. “It was probably one of the catches of the year that I’ve seen. It doesn’t surprise me that he comes up with that ball.”
“It was awesome,” added starter Brian Matusz, who initially thought Olivo had hit a home run. “It was a good momentum thing because it put a smile on my face and it helped relax a little bit, and have fun.”
With some family and friends in attendance, Jones –who was traded from Seattle in 2008 – said he had been working on making catches from different angles. He knew from the start of the warning track it was about 2 ½ steps until he crashed into the wall, so he turned, took a pair of steps and jumped without even looking at the ball.
“That was perfect,” Jones said of his execution. “It’s something that’s really hard to replay in my mind. I remember doing it, but it’s hard to put into words.”
“Jones has been spoiling us with his play all year,” manager Buck Showalter said. “On top of it he’s had a great effort since Day 1 of Spring Training.”