Watch: Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez fools everyone with HR-robbing catch

Aug 8, 2023, 8:44 PM | Updated: 11:41 pm

Seattle Mariners Julio Rodríguez...

Julio Rodríguez of the Seattle Mariners in action during a game on May 8, 2023. (Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

(Alika Jenner/Getty Images)

Seattle Mariners star Julio Rodríguez goes by the nickname “J-Rod Show,” and when he plays center field at T-Mobile Park, it becomes known as the “No Fly Zone.”

On Tuesday night, those two things met in spectacular fashion.

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In Game 1 of the Mariners’ quick two-game series against the Padres, San Diego’s Fernando Tatís Jr. ripped a shot to deep center in the top of the fourth inning. Rodríguez, who had already made a diving catch just one frame earlier, went back and made a perfectly timed jump at the wall.

The only question: did he catch it?

Julio Rodríguez seemed to relish the fact that the outcome wasn’t certain, so he took a few beats while striding back from the warning track. Then, ever the showman, he flashed a sly grin and revealed the ball, which was safe in his glove.

It made for quite the moment, as he hid the result of the play just long enough to fool everybody, including the announcers on TV and even Tatís (he had begun his home run trot), then wow them with his cool little sleight-of-hand trick.

Watch it here:

One person who certainly appreciated Rodríguez’s efforts was Logan Gilbert, as it kept his scoreless outing intact. He ended up with a dominant night, throwing seven innings of one-hit ball with no runs allowed and 12 strikeouts to lead the M’s to a 2-0 win, extending their winning streak to six games.

This marked the second time that Rodríguez has robbed a deep fly at the wall this year. He also came up with a similar web gem in June at Baltimore’s Camden Yards on a batted ball by the Orioles’ Ryan O’Hearn.

It’s been highlight-filled week for the two-time All-Star, as Rodríguez stole home in a win over the Red Sox, then had a big series at the plate in the Mariners’ four-game sweep of the Angels in Anaheim over the weekend.

More on the Seattle Mariners

Mariners place Bryan Woo on IL, make three other roster moves
Drayer’s Notebook: The role players key to Mariners’ surge
The Seattle Mariners are red-hot – have they finally clicked?

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Watch: Mariners’ Julio Rodríguez fools everyone with HR-robbing catch