Chicago Cubs: the best outfield moment of 2018 season

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs certainly don’t lack swagger in the outfield. As 2018 draws to a close, I’ve narrowed down the entire season to a single best outfield moment.

In April, the Chicago Cubs were on the road taking on the Colorado Rockies. The outfield was basically moving pieces for Joe Maddon who was switching between Ian Happ, Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora Jr. depending on the opponent.

The weekend of April 20, Almora’s number was called for center field against a tough Rockies offense. Little did Maddon or management know that the center fielder would bring Cubs fans to their feet as he put on a personal highlight reel that could have gotten him an invite to join the Avengers.

Later, tagged the “Certified Colorado Rockies killer,” no one gave the Rockies more heartache in the outfield in 2018 than Almora.  Charlie Roumeliotis of NBC Sports Chicago talked about the first of three Glove Glove-caliber catches made by Almora during the series.

"With the Cubs leading 2-0 in the bottom of the third, DJ LeMahieu smoked a shot to center field that would’ve cut the lead in half and extended the inning had it gotten to the wall. Instead, Almora showed off his defensive abilities by making an extremely difficult over-the-shoulder grab look so easy, and somewhere Willie Mays tipped his cap."

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Almora covered 87 feet to make that catch. Everyone knew the play was going to be run over and over again that weekend on highlight reels. But instead of enjoying his moment in the sun, the young Cubs outfielder went out and trumped his own performance. He mad two more impossible catches the very next day working behind pitcher Jose QuintanaAndrew Mearns of Cut4 wrote about the amazing catches that were yet to make the highlight reel.

"With one out in the first and a runner on second, Nolan Arenado smoked an offering from Jose Quintana into the left-center-field gap. Almora raced over, went into a Superman dive and came down with the catch, robbing Arenado of at least a double."

Almora was visibly shaken up on the play as teammates came over to see if he was okay. The television coverage showed Almora looking like the wind had just gotten knocked out of him as he stood hunched over with hands on knees trying to catch his breath.  Pitcher Jose Quintana raised his hands high in the air to praise the superhero catch made by his teammate.

"That was fortunate for Quintana and the Cubs because just one inning later, Noel Cuevas tested Almora again — in nearly the exact same location: Once more, Almora reeled in the extra-base-hit attempt. That made at least two RBI doubles robbed by Almora on the day."

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On Monday, April 30, in Chicago, a little more than a week later, Almora still had not had enough, as he again went aggressively after the Rockies, racing onto the Wrigley Field warning track to steal one from Rockies shortstop Trevor Story.  Almora’s defensive plays mark him as one of the best of 2018 as he delivered the best outfield play of 2018.