Slater continues flair for dramatic with game-sealing catch


Just a week into the 2022 MLB season, Austin Slater is developing a flair for the dramatic.

The Giants beat the Cleveland Guardians on Friday night at Progressive Field to improve to 5-2 this season, and two of those wins have ended with Slater as the hero.

Slater's latest theatrics came on a game-sealing diving catch to preserve the Giants' 4-1 win in Cleveland.

Slater's catch comes exactly one week after he delivered the walk-off double on Opening Day at Oracle Park.

NBC Sports Bay Area's Alex Pavlovic wrote about the aggressive mindset manager Gabe Kapler and his coaching staff want the Giants' outfielders to have, and after Friday's win, Kapler reiterated that philosophy when asked by Pavlovic.

"The only way you catch low line drives like that is by anticipating that that's going to happen," Kapler told reporters in Cleveland. "Outfielders almost have to think about potentially diving for balls before the ball is hit. I'm going to take away anything in front of me, I'm going to lay out for us, and this is a mindset that [Mike Yastrzemski], Slater, our other outfielders as well, but particularly Yaz and Slater have been working on for a long time. [Steven] Duggar too."

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Slater went 0-for-1 with a walk after entering Friday's game as a pinch-hitter for Joc Pederson in the seventh inning. The 29-year-old now has just one hit in 14 at-bats this season, but he has played an important role in two of the Giants' five wins this season.

Not a bad way to start the season for Slater, even if the stats don't reflect it.

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