Oneil Cruz only leaves behind an exceptional impression every time he steps foot onto the field. In the game where the Milwaukee Brewers won 2-0 against the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park, Cruz was at it with his slaying speed. Since his MLB season debut, he has had his fair share of intriguing highlights.
When Michael Perez faked a throw to second, Kolten Wong found himself in a no man’s land in the second innings. Wanting to take advantage of Perez’s throw, Wong lead himself into a scramble, running back and forth between third and the home plate trying to save the innings from being over. Stepped into Oneil Cruz. What could Kolten Wong do when he has Cruz chasing him? Oneil Cruz ran down Wong, reached out to apply the tag and the inning was over.
“I didn’t really know who it was, I just knew I was in a bad situation there,” Wong said. “I kind of went to plant to go back and my foot slipped. That put me in a bad spot there. I was in no man’s land after that.”
Oneil Cruz made the optics for a spectacle a sight to behold
6-foot-7 Oneil Cruz against the 5-foot-7 Kolten Wong? Pitcher Zach Thompson, who also stands at 6-foot-7, said, “[He’s] a very large human with very big strides that can run very fast, I thought he was going to give the ball up to [Ke’Bryan Hayes]. Once you see him clasp up the glove a little bit, I was like, ‘Oh, he’s going for it.’ It was like two steps later that he got him. It was cool to see.”
There has indeed been a bunch of ‘wow’ moments in Oneil Cruz’s lap. A 96.7 mph throw, pacing between the plates at a speed of 112.9 mph, all three of his home runs have been spectacles to observe.
“We saw elite pitching,” said manager Derek Shelton. “You saw a guy in the seventh that’s led the league in saves, a guy in the eighth who was Rookie of the Year and a guy in the ninth who’s maybe the best closer in baseball. I think it was a situation where they execute pitches and we couldn’t get a ball to fall.”