John Mayberry Jr. took the wrong route but made the game-ending catch in center field that preserved the Phillies' 6-4 win over the Miami Marlins.
Afterward, Mayberry was able to poke some fun at himself.
“Perfect read, perfect route, perfect angle, perfect everything,” Mayberry quipped. “I think Papelbon said it that I made an easy play look hard so we will go with that.”
It was a twisting catch that looked spectacular, but had Mayberry taken the proper route, it would have been almost routine.
Either way, the Marlins, with 20 comeback wins this season, play until the final out, putting constant pressure on the opponent.
The key was that Mayberry said he didn’t panic on the play when it looked like he would misplay former Phillie Greg Dobbs' fly ball.
“No, I tried to stay with it best I could and do whatever I can to make the play,” he said.
Mayberry started in center and was moved to left when Shane Victorino came in as a defensive replacement.
When Jonathan Papelbon came in with one out in the eighth as part of a double switch, Mayberry once again went to center, replacing Shane Victorino.
Before the game, manger Charlie Manuel praised Mayberry for being able to play all three outfield positions.
Afterwards, Manuel wasn’t as charitable.
“I don’t think you teach that route,” he said about Mayberry, who was twisting and turning.
The bottom line is while there are no style points, he did stay with the catch and it ended another Phillies victory against a division rival.
Mayberry says he will probably get razzed by his teammates once they see the replays, but he can handle it.
Winning makes taking the ribbing so much easier because even though he took the wrong flight, Mayberry somehow got the right result.