Do not adjust your screen: The Padres balked it off against the Giants on Saturday
Walk-off singles, walk-off doubles, walk-off homers -- all game-enders, all beautiful in their own unique way. But there's one walk-off still more beautiful than all the rest put together. It exists as legend, a whisper on the wind, bring us joy maybe once all season. And during Saturday's Giants-Padres game, it returned.
The game had a little bit of everything: San Diego jumped out to an early lead. San Francisco rallied to tie it. Buster Posey's dramatic 10th-inning homer put the Giants ahead, but the Padres strung together three hits to pull even once more. And then, with runners on the corners, it happened: San Francisco closer Santiago Casilla tried to stride toward the plate, but he stumbled on the mound, failing to deliver the pitch. As you might have guessed, that is not allowed. The runners each advanced once base. It was ... a balk-off:
Padres manager Andy Green wasn't quite sure what to make of it after the game, but as he told MLB.com's Carlos Collazo after the game, he'll take it: "I haven't been a part of that. That's the first balk-off I've ever been a part of. You know, we kept fighting, all the way to the end. It was a heck of a way to finish."
San Diego's 7-6 win marked the third straight year that the balk-off has brought its drama and shameless wordplay to a Major League ballpark, after Keone Kela flinched the Dodgers to victory last June. Where will it go next? Wherever fans are dreaming hard enough.