Video: Paul DeJong’s trick shot single

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Every now and then, we see a billiards-style hit in which a batter makes poor contact with a pitch, beating it into the ground but putting just enough english on it that it stays fair. Derek Dietrich did this last year when he was with the Marlins. The Tigers’ Nick Buss had spin working in his favor several years ago, turning a foul ball into a double. What we have never seen — at least to the best of my memory — is a hit with the amount of english on Paul DeJong‘s foul ball-turned-single yesterday against the Giants.

The Cardinals were threatening with runners on first and second with two outs against Giants starter Dereck Rodríguez in the first inning. With a 2-2 count, DeJong nearly swung and missed at a change-up. Instead, it glanced off of his bat something like five feet into foul territory before spinning back into fair territory about two-thirds of the way down the first base line. Rodríguez, who understandably assumed it was a foul ball and did not charge after it, had no chance and first baseman Brandon Belt had to charge in, allowing DeJong to reach safely and load the bases.

The Cardinals were not able to capitalize on the stroke of good fortune as Yadier Molina flied out to end the inning. They still went on to win 1-0 thanks to a superbly pitched game by Jack Flaherty and a solo homer from Marcell Ozuna. His homer went into “Big Ac Land” — the M in the sign was broken last month by DeJong.

Blue Jays hire Don Mattingly as bench coach

Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO — Don Mattingly is joining the Toronto Blue Jays as bench coach to manager John Schneider, the team announced.

The former New York Yankees slugger, a six-time All-Star, joins the Blue Jays after seven seasons as manager of the Florida Marlins, where he won NL Manager of the Year honors in 2020.

Mattingly previously spent five seasons as manager of the Los Angeles Dodgers, winning three division titles in that span. He also worked as hitting coach and bench coach for the Yankees, and as hitting coach of the Dodgers before his managerial stint in Los Angeles.

In Toronto, Mattingly replaces Casey Candaele, who was promoted from Triple-A Buffalo to serve as Schneider’s bench coach after the Jays fired manager Charlie Montoyo in July, replacing him with Schneider. The Blue Jays said Candaele will resume his job as manager of the Triple-A Bisons in 2023.

Mattingly spent his entire 14-year playing career with the Yankees, winning nine Gold Glove awards at first base, three Silver Slugger awards, the 1984 AL batting title and the 1985 AL MVP award.