Two outs, top of the ninth, down a run and Cincinnati Reds slugger Joey Votto goes for the gusto against Milwaukee Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez. He got a lot of it, driving the ball deep to center. It has enough to get over the fence for a home run but ... outfielder Carlos Gomez is lurking. He checks his space cushion, he times his leap and he gets way up. But does he have the ball? Votto wants to see it.
Gomez has it. Votto has been denied home run No. 16. Game over. The Brewers win 4-3 and they can put their respective hearts back in their respective chests collectively. It is Gomez's second home-run robbery since Thursday and perhaps his fourth this season.
Via the Associated Press, Gomez can't wait to see the replay, over and over:
''When you save the game like that or when you hit a walk-off home run, it's amazing,'' Gomez said. ''I never hit one, but I steal home run to win the game. It's something special, like you can't wait to get home to see it over and over.''
Votto was quite philosophical and analytical about getting robbed:
''The whole thing is really a random occurrence and it's what makes baseball so special,'' Votto said. ''Carlos has had a fantastic year this year. Today he didn't have a good game offensively and he goes out and makes a game-changing play on the defensive end.
''You know, I did everything I could, and he made a great play.''
You know who really couldn't believe it? Rodriguez, who appeared resigned to having lost the lead:
Gomez seemed pretty geeked:
Votto is right about Gomez being fantastic at age 27. Considering both sides of the ball, Gomez might be having the best season of anyone in Major League Baseball. He has accumulated 5.4 Wins Above Replacement — the same as co-leader Clayton Kershaw and better than Miguel Cabrera.
His catch against Votto might not have been tops regarding degree of difficulty — his play running up the hill at Minute Maid Park was better — but given the urgency of the moment, the catch against the Reds might seem like his best play.
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