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Manny Machado steals base hit and soul from Devon Travis

Manny Machado added another play to his career highlight reel on defense in the Orioles win on Opening Day.

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Baltimore Orioles
If you didn’t know Manny Machado is good, you’d better call somebody.
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

The rest of the baseball world needs to be honest. The American League Gold Glove belongs to Manny Machado. Only circumstances outside of his control may stop him from winning it. His own injury in 2013 and an injury to teammate J.J. Hardy last year that caused Machado to play many innings at shortstop are all that have kept Machado from four consecutive Gold Gloves.

It’s not a surprise, or at least, not a surprise to Orioles fans, when Machado does something that sparkles. There are times where he makes the extraordinary seem completely routine. Other times, you know right away that Machado has done something that pretty much only Machado could do.

Take this scorcher off the bat of Blue Jays second baseman Devon Travis in the top of the eleventh inning of the Orioles Opening Day victory over the Blue Jays. Gary Thorne’s reaction in the linked really says everything that needs to be said about the play. Ohhh, mercy:

What remained of a sellout Opening Day crowd gave a nice ovation as Machado collected himself after rolling over his wrist. It was one of those plays that you could just see, as it happened, that it was amazing. How could Machado both field that hard shot and throw out a fast runner from his knees with a sidearm throw? By being amazing, is how.

It’s tough to say what might have happened in the game if Machado hadn’t been there to make this play. This was likely headed for extra bases and the Jays would have had a couple of shots to drive in Travis with some of their good hitters. Indeed, bad haircut Josh Donaldson singled in the next at-bat - not that Donaldson’s single would have been guaranteed to happen with Travis on second base, of course.

We’ll never have to find out. Machado made his amazing play. The Orioles walked off in the bottom half of that same inning.