Photo: Getty Images | Licensed to Alpha Media Group 2013
As soon as the ball left Joey Votto's bat, anyone watching last night's game between the Brewers and Reds had to know, whatever the outcome, it would be leading SportCenter's plays of the day, week, month, season, you name it. Consider the circumstances: two outs, bottom of the ninth, the Brew Crew leading 4-3, the Reds with a man on base, and Votto at the plate, with his .320 batting average. So when Votto's bat connected with Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez's fastball. . . let's just say it was game over. Votto crushed it. Walk off, Reds win. Right?
Wrong! Out in centerfield, Carlos Gomez timed his leap perfectly, soaring above the wall to make the final out of the game, stunning both the Milwaukee crowd, and Votto himself. If Gomez mistimes it, Votto gets his walk-off, and it's the play of the day. If Gomez manages to catch it (which, of course, he did). . . it's the play of the day.
"I hit a ball that in all likelihood was going to put us up," Votto said. "It'd be an actual homer over the fence, and to have the center fielder take it away from you - one, ironically, I'm probably going to play beside at the All-Star Game - the whole thing is really a random occurrence and what makes baseball so special."
"In that situation, when you save the game like that, or when you hit a walk-off home run, it's amazing," Gomez said, after the game. "I've never hit one, but I've caught a home run ball to win the game. It's something special. You can't wait to get home and see it over and over."
Know what? Just take his advice, and watch it over and over.