D-backs righty makes off-balance throw after line drive knocks off glove
By Jake Rill
PHOENIX -- A year-and-a-half after getting drilled in the face by a line drive, D-backs right-hander Archie Bradley completed the 2016 season with no injury concerns after his final start in Saturday's 9-5 win over the Padres at Chase Field.
But the outing didn't pass by without one last scare for the Arizona starter.
With two outs in the fifth, San Diego third baseman Yangervis Solarte hit a liner directly at Bradley. The ball knocked Bradley's glove off, then landed between third base and the mound.
But Bradley, who missed a month in 2015 after the scary incident in April, was fine this time. In fact, he ran over, delivered an off-balance throw to first while falling and retired Solarte with a remarkable play.
"I'm just glad I didn't get hit again, that was really close to my face," Bradley said. "I didn't think about that. I felt it hit my glove and I saw it pop up, then I saw where it went. I knew [Jon] Jay was going to score so I was like, 'All right, I'm going to pick up this ball and it may go into the third deck, but I'm just going to see what I can do here.'"
Jay didn't score from third. That's because the sensational throw from the Arizona right-hander was received by first baseman Paul Goldschmidt in time to nab Solarte for the final out of the inning.
"It was a great pick by Goldy, I think it bounced twice," Bradley said. "I got that, saved a run from scoring, and was like, 'All right, let's go now, let's see how far I can get into this game.'"
Bradley delivered his longest outing since July 27, tossing seven innings of two-run ball. He issued no walks and notched a career-high 11 strikeouts. The right-hander finished his season with a strong performance -- and one athletic play, reminding everybody why he was once committed to play football at the University of Oklahoma.
"We were joking around on the bench when he hits, when he runs to first he does not look like the athlete that he is," manager Chip Hale said. "This is a guy that could've gone on to play college football. He kind of runs down the line funky. So when he made that play, I said, 'I guess he is athletic.'"
Jake Rill is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.