Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Rollins Gets Defensive

Newcomers Cliff Lee (a complete-game victory) and Raul Ibanez (2-4, 2 RBIs) carried the Phillies as they began their World Series title defense. But the longest-tenured Phillie made a quieter impact in a way that typified his season and his career.

Jimmy Rollins made a running catch down the leftfield line early in the game, then made another wind-impacted into-leftfield-back-toward-the-infield catch that typified the Gold Glove defense he's displayed since his first full season as a starter and 2001 22-year-old All Star.

His offense, when better or worse, gets the most focus, but Rollins could join a select group of shortstops in major-league history. Rollins has won two straight Gold Gloves. If he wins a third this season--highly likely, since he made just six errors all year--he'd trail just seven shortstops all-time who have won more. And just two National League shortstops will have topped his three: Ozzie Smith and Dave Concepcion.

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