2022 World Series: Phillies’ J.T. Realmuto confirmed why he is MLB’s greatest catcher

HOUSTON — In between the 2 largest swings of his life, J.T. Realmuto bought drilled within the face.

Thankfully, the Phillies catcher was, you already know, sporting a masks on the time. However when that sixth-inning foul ball ricocheted off Chas McCormick’s bat, it clocked Realmuto’s jaw so squarely that the entrance a part of his two-piece helmet indifferent itself and fell to the grime behind dwelling plate.

Realmuto, whose fifth-inning two-RBI double had simply tied the sport, finishing Philly’s boisterous five-run comeback, took a second to gather himself. As he hung his head towards his chest to catch his breath, the umpire strolled out to the mound to provide Realmuto a breather. However virtually instantly, skipper Rob Thomson and the membership’s athletic coach bounced out of the guests’ dugout to verify on their backstop. At that time, bench coach Mike Calitri hollered down towards backup catcher Garrett Stubbs, letting Stubbs know that he may have to prepare.

However whereas Calitri and 1000’s of Philadelphians feared the worst, Stubbs did not transfer a muscle.

“Yeah, I knew J.T. wasn’t coming out of that game.” Stubbs mentioned postgame. “That guy’s arms would have to fall off for him to come out of that game”

Fortunately, it turned out that Realmuto’s stinger was “just” a tough blow to the chin and never a possible concussion scenario. After being evaluated by the medical employees, he remained within the sport. 

Two hours later, he launched a Tenth-inning opposite-field laser-beam homer to provide the Phillies a 6-5 lead and maybe essentially the most exceptional victory of their inconceivable October run.

“That ball got me pretty good in the jaw.” Realmuto admitted postgame. “It’s probably not gonna be very easy for me to eat dinner tonight.”

“That’s a Phillies win right there.”

"That's a Phillies win right there."

Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto breaks down his game-winning dwelling run within the Tenth inning of Sport 1 of the World Series.

Whereas these bumps and bruises and knocks to the chin are regular for any backstop, what’s not regular is Realmuto’s potential on the plate. No different catcher that good defensively bops like Realmuto bops. And Sport 1 showcased the spectrum of his abilities — 10 innings caught, three runs pushed in, a revolving door of relievers expertly dealt with. 

Such is the lifetime of the very best catcher on earth. 

Mere minutes after the final out Friday evening, Realmuto made his option to the customer’s weight room at Minute Maid Park. And as is the case after each sport he performs, dwelling or away, win or lose, April or October, Realmuto labored out. Three units of three completely different workout routines. About 15 to twenty minutes whole. Typically higher physique, typically decrease physique, however all the time one thing, no exceptions.

Whereas his teammates are cracking open chilly drinks or addressing the media or hitting the showers, the 31-year-old catcher is within the health club, ensuring that his physique can deal with one other 9 innings of squatting the subsequent day. 

The postgame scene after Sport 1 was no completely different. These four-and-a-half hours of high-stress, toll-taking baseball had been within the rearview mirror, outdated information. The preparation for Sport 2 needed to start, and start instantly.

The glory of a second like his go-ahead shot in Sport 1 begins hours, weeks, months earlier. Approach earlier than the lights are on, and the cameras are rolling.

“He’s an absolute specimen.” Stubbs mentioned about his compatriot. “But he’s in the weight room every day, in the training room getting treatment every day, to make sure he’s ready to go.”

Realmuto himself provides a a lot humbler, extra sensible evaluation of his scenario.

“I’m running on so much adrenaline right now that I feel pretty great every night.”

Catching is a bizarre job; it is part-coach, part-advanced-scout, part-therapist, part-three-hour-yoga-class, oh and also you additionally must hit. However for Realmuto, who to date this postseason has caught each single inning for the Phils, it is much more essential.

As a bunch, big-league catchers hit .226/.295/.367 in 2022.

Realmuto, alternatively, hit .276/.342/.478 whereas additionally main all catchers in video games began and innings behind the dish. The person is a unicorn, an anomaly, an athletic specimen. He squats for 3 hours after which hits like an All-Star. It is why he is such an important, unheralded a part of this Phillies crew. It is why they’ve develop into so reliant on his reliability.

David Robertson, proper, and J.T. Realmuto of the Phillies have fun after their Sport 1 win in Houston. (Photograph by Bob Levey/Getty Photographs)

And although he hadn’t collected a signature second earlier than his Sport 1 efficiency, Realmuto has been lurking within the shadows. With out his leadoff single in NLCS Sport 5, Harper’s historic go-ahead homer would have been of the solo selection. However ultimately the October highlight comes for everybody, and on Friday evening, Realmuto was the reluctant star.

And are available the early hours of Saturday morning, as his friends bantered about, listening to crude music within the locker room, Realmuto was again the place he feels most snug, the burden room, making ready for the eventual discomfort of tomorrow. 

That is life as a catcher, and none, as he proved in Sport 1, are higher than Realmuto.

Jake Mintz, the louder half of @CespedesBBQ is a baseball author for FOX Sports activities. He’s an Orioles fan residing in New York Metropolis, and thus, he leads a lonely existence most Octobers. If he’s not watching baseball, he’s virtually definitely using his bike. Observe him on Twitter @Jake_Mintz.

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