Billy Hamilton employed some remarkable baserunning magic to dodge a tag
Eric Chesterton and Mark Sheldon / MLB.com
Billy Hamilton has a reputation for being a threat on the bases, but that's mostly because he's one of the fastest players in baseball. During the Reds' 5-1 win over the Royals Tuesday night, however, he showed that he has more tricks in his baserunning tool belt. With one out and runners on the corners in the top of the 10th inning, catcher Tucker Barnhart hit a ball back to the pitcher, Kevin McCarthy, who looked to have Hamilton caught between third and home. He did ... until he didn't:
His teammates were predictably astounded by Hamilton's Matrix-esque maneuver. "That goes down as one of the more crazy things I've seen him do," Barnhart told MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Joey Votto went even further, saying Hamilton's play represented a distillation of why he loves baseball. "It was so athletic. It's funny," he said. "I think one of the reasons I like baseball so much is because we're very much a skill sport, but every now and then, you see a guy who ... could do something special, maybe Olympic caliber. He's out here on a ballfield making outstanding plays. That's really the fun part of baseball in my opinion." Because he was able to avoid the tag on that play, Hamilton was in position to score the game-winning run when Votto cleared the bases with a triple in the next at-bat. It's often said that baseball is a game of inches. In this case, the inch between Alcides Escobar's glove and Hamilton's stomach may have won the Reds the game.