Though the Cincinnati Reds were unable to rally in Tuesday’s NL wild card game, falling 6-2 to the Pittsburgh Pirates, Todd Frazier’s incredible over-the-railing catch to rob Neil Walker of an RBI opportunity had a chance to be a game-changer.
Frazier's remarkable play came in the second inning after Pittsburgh's offense broke through against Johnny Cueto on solo home runs from Marlon Byrd and Russell Martin. After pitcher Francisco Liriano and Starling Marte continued the rally with back-to-back two out singles, Walker skied a foul popup just beyond the home dugout where the photographer's well is located.
Realizing his pitcher needed an out in the worst way, Frazier raced over from his third base position and measured the situation with a cursory glance. Then he threw caution to the wind, leaning over the short railing and extending as far as he possibly could to make the catch before tumbling head first into the well. Thankfully, a member of the PNC Park grounds crew was there to break his fall.
It was an incredible effort on Frazier's part that at least temporarily kept Cincinnati in the game. Already trailing 2-0 with the hot-hitting Walker at the plate, Andrew McCutchen on deck and the PNC Park crowd riled into a frenzy, the Reds season felt like it was on the verge of slipping away. It was going to be an uphill battle anyway with Francisco Liriano pitching at such a high level, but the hill could have been steeper if not for Frazier's defensive effort.
That was actually Frazier's first defensive gem. One inning later, he made a terrific leaping catch to rob Justin Morneau of a base hit and nearly doubled off Andrew McCutchen.
At least we know one Red came to play. He's the man guarding the hot corner.