Lewis Brinson knew he’d catch it the whole time.
He just didn’t know exactly how important his haul would be when he did it.
Brinson raced to the wall, leapt in the air and snatched away a potential go-ahead home run by Red Sox right fielder Mookie Betts in the 11th inning on Tuesday night.
Even as he came down after his jump, Brinson said he didn’t realize he had kept Betts from giving Boston the lead.
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"I thought it was going to hit the wall," Brinson said. "I felt the track beneath my feet and I knew I had to jump. But I didn’t know I robbed it until I saw the video. It was definitely a home run."
Despite Brinson’s highlight-reel grab, the Marlins still fell 4-2 after playing 13 innings overall against the Red Sox.
Brinson entered the game hitting .280 with a .333 on-base percentage, but went 0 for 6 on Tuesday.
Still, Brinson’s catch was a memorable moment continuing a series of them this week playing his first six games for the team he grew up cheering for growing up in Coral Springs.
“Incredible,” said Cameron Maybin about Brinson’s catch. “I tipped my cap to him. It reminded me of a young me out there.”
The ball traveled 412 feet and was going 105 mph according to MLB’s Statcast tracking system. Brinson caught it at the wall near the area marked 407 feet.
It was also special for Brinson, who has known Betts since each played in the South Atlantic League at the low-A level in 2013 when Brinson was in the Texas Rangers’ farm system and Betts was still working his way up in the Red Sox organization.
Brinson, 23, was drafted by the Rangers out of Coral Springs High in the first round of the 2012 MLB draft.
"[Betts] didn’t say anything to me, but he just gave me the [shoulder shrug]," Brinson said. "We go back to low-A and been boys ever since and I’m glad he’s up here and doing his thing and I’m glad I’m up here taking home runs away from him because he’s taken some hits away from me so it was ‘return the favor.’"
Brinson paused for a brief second after coming down with the ball keeping everyone in suspense as to whether he had indeed caught it. He then grabbed it out of his glove and threw it back to the infield inciting a roar from the crowd.
"I didn’t mean to do that," Brinson said.
So was it his biggest catch ever?
"Yeah it was," Brinson said. "Number one, it’s in the big leagues. Number two, it happened in the big leagues, and because it happened in a big game like this. Hopefully I make a lot more of them."