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Thursday, April 28, 2011

Schlereth's doozy of a sliding play takes sting out of 4-error game

When you’ve just finished your second four-error game of the year, it’s usually hard to pick out a defensive bright spot.

That wasn’t the case in the Tigers’ 10-1 loss to the Mariners Wednesday night, though.

A day after Ryan Raburn’s outfield gaffe made all the blooper reels, relief pitcher Daniel Schlereth’s sliding, back-hand toss to nab Milton Bradley in the seventh inning was the highlight of the night for all the right reasons.

Bradley’s line shot hit off Schlereth’s glove, ricocheting toward no-man’s land in front of first. The second-year reliever dove after the ball, sliding on the slick grass before making a back-hand toss to Miguel Cabrera at first to nab Bradley by a step.

(Click here to see the play.)

“If I would’ve kept running, I’d probably have tripped over my own feet, and done a barrel roll. Probably took out Miggy or something. Luckily, the grass was wet enough where I could slide about eight feet without killing somebody,” joked Schlereth, admitting that his father — former Broncos offensive lineman and current ESPN football commentator Mark Schlereth — would be proud of his pitch-out.
“I didn’t get scared or anything, because it was kind of like the option toss (in football), just grabbed it while I was sliding, flicked it over there.
“Not too much time to think about it. Just do what your instincts tell you, ya know?”

The younger Schlereth got a slew of text messages from friends after the play made the highlights, landing in the No. 5 slot on the Top Plays segment of ESPN’s “SportsCenter,” and the No. 1 slot on the Web Gems segment of ESPN’s “Baseball Tonight.”

“I have to get a copy of that video somehow. Maybe ESPN can get my dad a copy of it, or something. We’ll have to work something out. I don’t think I’ll be on Web Gems too many times,” Daniel Schlereth said.
“That’ll probably be my first, and only, Web Gem that I ever get, so ...”


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