Written by Tony Pente
I went back and replayed it about ten times and I didn't see a sun issue. when the camera picks up Markakis he was more or less jogging toward right-center. He then picks up speed, puts his head down for a second, looks back up and by that point the ball is just past his glove. Now I think there were a few factors in this play. Could the sun have been a contributing factor, perhaps, but no other outfielder had sun issues yesterday and Camden Yards is not known for sun issues, even in mid-afternoon starts. The factors that I think contributed to Markakis not making this play were the following:
1) Markakis was playing fairly shallow in right field. This was probably by design. Look at Dozier's spray chart since last year:
Basically Dozier hit a ball in an area he rarely hits to. When he goes oppo, he normally goes fairly shallow where Markakis was playing.
2) Markakis didn't get a great jump and took a while to get to full speed
3) Markakis has below average foot speed.
Of all these factors I think the fact he was playing fairly shallow was the biggest factor. Basically Dozier beat the odds, so I may have been a bit hard on Markakis after being able to analyze all the facts. Perhaps a little better jump and Markakis makes that play, and an outfielder with average to above average speed will probably make that play, but it wasn't like Markakis significantly misplayed the ball.
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