Another one bites the dust. For the second time in two months, outfielder Carlos Gomez of the Milwaukee Brewers stole a go-head home run from a Cincinnati Reds slugger in the ninth inning at Miller Park. Gomez's leaping grab at the fence in center to keep Jay Bruce in the ballpark Sunday afternoon wasn't quite as athletic or dramatic as when he stole from Joey Votto on July 18. But it was just as problematic for the Reds, who failed to break a tie and fell 6-5 to the Brewers in the next half-inning in a big blow to their playoff hopes.
The best part of the video highlight might be the reaction of Brewers right-hander Jim Henderson, who could not act any more grateful.
The catch made Gomez happy too, but he appears to be getting used to doing this. We didn't get to see what Bruce's reaction was to the robbery, but it couldn't have matched Votto's. He was in near-shock back in July, demanding (hopefully so) to see the ball in Gomez's glove:
That play actually ended the game, which is why the celebration was a little more excited. For the Reds, it was a gut punch. They trail the NL Central co-leaders by 3 1/2, and their wild-card lead was reduced to 4 1/2 — four in the loss column — to the Washington Nationals. Listen to the Reds, first pitcher Bronson Arroyo:
''That is probably as crushing of a defeat as we've had all year,'' Arroyo said.
And Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker Jr., manager:
''We can still finish strong, but that is not going to take away the sting we feel today,'' Baker said. ''You have to feel the sting today and get over it tomorrow because we have another series tomorrow. This does hurt. It really hurts.''
Gomez also threw out Brandon Phillips at third base in the fifth inning, possibly taking away another run from the Reds.
For the Brewers, rare elation. Not since Torii Hunter was in his prime have we seen a center fielder stealing home runs with the panache Gomez does. He's probably even better than Mike Trout at home-run robbery. Considering all of the dreck that Brewers fans have been made to endure this season, they should at least enjoy having the top longball thief in Major League Baseball.