Jackie Bradley Jr. may have sat out the first eight innings of the Red Sox’ 4-3 win over the Yankees on Friday, but a casual onlooker would have sworn the defensively-gifted Bradley was in center field in the top of the eighth.
After Derek Jeter led off the inning with a solo home run, Jacoby Ellsbury launched a bomb to the triangle that looked like it would drop in for a trademark triple Ellsbury used to smack while spending his days in the Red Sox lineup.
But Mookie Betts, just recalled from Pawtucket before the game, got on his horse and hustled back to make a leaping catch on the warning track, sprawling in front of the Stop & Shop-clad garage door in center to rob Ellsbury of at least three bases – perhaps even an inside-the-park home run.
Betts came up through the Red Sox system as a second baseman, and only started playing outfield earlier this year when the Sox brass decided to see what he could give them out there.
So far, the results have been pretty good, as the speedy Betts has shown he is athletic enough to succeed almost anywhere you put him on the field.