You've heard of the hidden ball trick, and might have even seen it attempted in a game. But Melky Cabrera turned the whole idea on its head in the White Sox' 4-3 win over the Yankees at Guaranteed Rate Field on Thursday night.
With known baseball demolisher Aaron Judge at the plate in the top of the fifth inning, he lofted a deep fly ball to left field -- something he does often. Perched in the outfield, Cabrera ranged back toward the wall as the ball headed back toward Earth and ... wait did he catch it?
Why yes, he did -- but not before that masterful, "Huh? Where'd it go?" fake out seen above. But see, he had it all along, and milked (or melked?) the suspense for as long as possible:
That's an all-time sell job by the Melk Man.
"I read [it] very well," he told MLB.com's Fabian Ardaya after the game. "I was deep because with the power that he has, you have to be deep in the outfield. And I have a very good read of that ball and I jump in the precise moment. That was why I could make that catch."
His pitcher sure appreciated it.
"It was funny, because when I threw it Judge kind of slammed his bat a little bit so I figured it was a pop fly," Chicago starter James Shields said. "I looked back and he caught it and I actually thought it was a home run because he didn't show the ball quite right away. It was a great catch. Melky's done a great job.
Earlier in the game, Cabrera fired a strike to second base to nab Ronald Torreyes with a great outfield assist, too.
"It was a great catch," White Sox manager Rick Renteria said. "I know he held onto it a little bit and kind of played it for a little while until he showed it. He made some nice plays out there, some catches, the throw and assist again throwing the ball well."