“To be honest, it was complete instinct,” Victor Robles said of his home run-robbing catch at the center field wall last night in Truist Park.
Robles tracked Austin Riley’s two-out line drive to the fence and leapt at the wall, catching it at the top to preserve a one-run lead in what ended up an 8-5 win for Washington in Atlanta.
“I work every day real hard on my defense, so that the plays become a little easier to make, but that was just complete instinct that I was able to make it.”
“Awesome catch,” Nationals’ skipper Davey Martinez said after the win.
“Game-saver right there. Really was. He went back, he found the wall, he did everything right. Got the glove up and he robbed a home run. It was a home run. Victor can do that kind of stuff. It was awesome. Great play.”
IT'S A BIRD— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) August 19, 2020
IT'S A PLANE
IT'S THE BEST DEFENSIVE CF IN @MLB™@Victor__Robles // #NATITUDE pic.twitter.com/Ltstx8KpMV
Off the bat, did Robles’s manager think the outfielder would get there?
“When I watched him and the way he timed it, I knew he had a chance. You never know until they go up there, but when he came down and he had the ball in his glove, I can tell you, we were all excited.”
“I was very impressed,” Nationals’ first baseman Eric Thames told reporters. “I was able to play with Lorenzo Cain for a few years, so I saw quite a few of those. But that was a really — the timing is what throws that off. There’s a lot of guys that have the athleticism to jump up there and do that crazy stuff, but like, to time it and jump up and catch it, Victor is a really good center fielder. I’m very impressed. Gold Glove. Gold Gloves are coming.”
Robles’s focus in those moments?
“To be honest, all I’m trying to do is help out my pitcher the best I can,” he said.
“Hopefully to get him to make less pitches. If anything comes my way then I try to make the play to help him out as best I can and that’s all I’m trying to do.”
“That’s part of my game,” Robles added. “I honestly work hard to make sure that I’m able to make those plays, but at the end of the day, that’s part of my game and that’s what I should be doing.”