The Mancini play was more consequential, but Yuli and most, but by no means all ML first basemen will make that play, especially if perfectly positioned like Mancini. The fact that he was coming in cold added difficulty, but he was absolutely determined nothing was going to get past him down the line and he played it like a goalie.
The McCormick play was fucking poetry. A few CF will make that play, but not many. Perhaps not quite as consequential as Mancini’s play, but more spectacular to watch.
I tend to think both were required for the Game 5 win and both have a well deserved place in Astros’ lore.
I do not disagree that Yuli would make that play most of the time if he is positioned there, but he had an easier play get past him earlier in the postseason allowing a run in Game 2. Saying “Yeah, but” about Mancini’s play does it a disservice, imo. Not only had he come in cold in that game because Yuli was injured but also he had not played at 1B in weeks. There was no reason to believe Mancini would be capable of making a game-saving play on a rocket down the line. Two runs definitely would have scored, and the Astros likely would have lost Game 5.
Crediting Mancini without reservation or qualification takes nothing away from Chas either. He made one of the greatest catches I ever saw. That catch is up there with Mays v. Cleveland in. ‘54 WS, imo.
I have no doubts that Yuli was perfectly capable of making that play. But he wasn’t in the game, Mancini was, and Mancini made the play. It was a game, possibly series, saving play. Mancini deserves all the praise for making it, without qualification.
Mancini made the play, Hoskins didn’t.
Chas made the play, Marsh didn’t
FWIW Pena made a great leaping snag of a line drive early in the game. Not on par with the others for a few reasons but great play few will remember or talk about.
Yaz Jr is also ranked a bit weird.
I think Yaz is a perfectly fine player but not any better than Chas. He has also played RF more than CF in every season, and about twice as much overall.
I think it says more about the overall weakness of the CF position than the players.