Make us your home page
Instagram

Get the quickest, smartest news, analysis and photos from the Bucs game emailed to you shortly after the final whistle.

(View our Privacy Policy)

'Superman' Sam Fuld can't save Tampa Bay Rays in 4-2 loss to Chicago White Sox

CHICAGO — The spectacular catch Sam Fuld made Saturday in a full-out dive toward the rightfield corner is what people in the clubhouse, around the stadium and on TV were and will be talking about for a long time.

But what Fuld was thinking more about afterward was a similarly hit ball three innings later he couldn't get to that became a pivotal play in the Rays' latest loss, 4-2 to the White Sox.

"I obviously wish I could have gotten to it," he said. "I know I really couldn't have done anything. That's going to eat at me, definitely.

"I think ultimately, I'll probably remember the catch a little bit more, but right now, that definitely stings."

The second ball, a hooking liner by Sox catcher A.J. Pierzynski, became a two-out, two-run double that turned a 2-1 seventh-inning deficit into 4-1, a monstrous difference as anemic as the Rays offense has been, scoring two or fewer runs for the sixth time in eight games (and only 19 total) and posting a team average of .167.

That it came right after rookie reliever Jake McGee (four hits, two walks in 22/3 innings over five appearances) failed again, walking Carlos Quentin to load the bases, made it even worse.

"That was a tough moment to get it up to 4-1," Rays manager Joe Maddon said. "Because we're not scoring a lot of runs right now, we really have to keep it in check.

"I'm not blaming the pitchers by any means. It's just when you're not scoring runs, you have to not make those mistakes, and we did."

The Rays (1-7) were down a run because of an earlier miscue, on an odd two-out bases-loaded play in the fourth. Brent Morel broke his bat and blooped a ball just over the mound. But Rays starter Wade Davis hesitated a tad too long as he turned to head back, and the ball dropped untouched for an infield single.

"I didn't want to have any collisions," Davis said. "It (stinks). I saw the ball. I had time to get there. I was just thinking about the other guys coming in, and I hesitated a little bit."

Davis' misadventure set up Fuld's adventure as usually weak-hitting Juan Pierre laced a ball toward the rightfield corner. Fuld, shifted toward center, started running and didn't stop until he skidded to a halt on the warning track — "prototypical Superman dive, I guess you can say," Fuld said — both knees and arms bloodied.

"I was screaming from center­field when he caught it," B.J. Upton said. "That's unbelievable. Great catch! It should be play of the year so far."

Pierzynski, the 14-season veteran, said it was one of the best catches he had seen based on degree of difficulty alone.

"He ran, like, 50 yards to get to that ball," he said. "It was an incredible catch. I tip my hat to him, for one, he didn't kill himself on the fence, and two, he got there and made the play. It was an amazing play."

Said Davis: " I don't even know how to explain that."

Fuld, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound pest acquired from the Cubs in the Matt Garza trade, can do that and with a .222 average (and .333 on-base percentage) that is relatively robust among the Rays figures to get more playing time.

"Sam has saved us I don't know how many runs over the last two days," Maddon said. "He's really spoiling us right now. It's as good a defense as we've seen here in the outfield, and we've had some really good outfielders. And it's not just the great plays, it's how he does things."

Just on that one play, there wasn't anything he could do.

Marc Topkin can be reached at topkin@sptimes.com.



White Sox 4

Rays 2

'Superman' Sam Fuld can't save Tampa Bay Rays in 4-2 loss to Chicago White Sox 04/09/11 [Last modified: Saturday, April 9, 2011 10:21pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Joe Maddon gets warm reception in return to the Trop

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The night was arranged to honor former Rays manager Joe Maddon in his first visit back to the Trop, and the standing ovation from the bipartisan crowd and scoreboard video tribute seemed proper acknowledgments of his hefty role in the Rays' success during his nine-year stint.

    Chicago Cubs manager Joe Maddon (70) talks with reporters during a press conference before the start of the game between the Chicago Cubs and the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Fla. on Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2017.
  2. Rays vs. Cubs, 7:10 p.m. Wednesday, Tropicana Field

    The Heater

    Tonight: vs. Cubs

    7:10, Tropicana Field

    TV/radio: Fox Sports Sun; 620-AM; 680-AM (Spanish)

    Tampa Bay Rays' Blake Snell poses for a picture during the team's photo day at baseball spring training in Port Charlotte, Fla., Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)
  3. Marc Topkin's takeaways from Tuesday's Rays-Cubs game

    The Heater

    Chris Archer's night ended with his 11th loss, but he and the Rays should feel good about his six solid innings. After the forearm tightness scare in Chicago, he had two rough outings (15 hits, 11 runs, seven innings), so Tuesday was a reassuring rebound.

  4. At 6-8, Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov comes with, and needs, a high ceiling

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — When Hall of Famer Phil Esposito first saw Lightning prospect Oleg Sosunov, he joked that the 6-foot-8 defenseman could reach the Amalie Arena ceiling.

    Lightning 6-foot-8 defenseman Oleg Sosunov competes in the preseason opener. Phil Esposito jokes that Sosunov can reach the ceiling at Amalie Arena.
  5. Jones: Rays' Kevin Cash doesn't mind following in Joe Maddon's steps

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — On this particular night, he's the other guy. He's like a talk-show guest scooted to the end of the couch. He is Kevin Cash. And the Rays manager is standing in the home dugout at Tropicana Field.

    ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 17: Manager Kevin Cash (L) of the Tampa Bay Rays reacts to action during the game against the Boston Red Sox at Tropicana Field on September 17, 2017 in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by Joseph Garnett Jr./Getty Images) 700012494