The 2015 Home Run Derby gave us the frenzy and joy of the buzzer-beater home run
New-look Derby features two buzzer-beating dingers
When the new Home Run Derby rules were announced -- complete with a new bracket format, each round timed rather than a given number of swings or outs -- fans excitedly anticipated several benefits of the changes. The frenetic pace of a running clock, say, or the thrill of watching one All-Star going head-to-head with another.
But there was one possibility whose name we dared not speak, lest we jinx it and scare it away. It existed as a whisper on the wind, tantalizing us until the Derby arrived on Monday night -- buzzer-beating home runs. Sure, baseball is no stranger to drama, but just imagine: The world's best sluggers, desperately swinging for the fences as their round winds down, unleashing a moonshot and walking off into the night? It was almost too good to contemplate.
And behold, our superstition was rewarded, because hoo boy did we get some late-clock drama. It was Albert Pujols who first did the honors, breaking the tie with Kris Bryant in their first-round matchup with a laser that juuuuust left the bat in time:
Next up was the hometown hero, Todd Frazier, who punched his ticket to the final with this blast as time expired -- because sometimes, it's just your night:
Amazingly, Frazier almost pulled it off again. After Joc Pederson's fireworks show, Todd was in a tough spot, and a late flurry of dingers pulled him even with time winding down. With time for just one more pitch, Frazier let it rip, and lifted one high into the air as the Internet prepared to explode:
Sadly, the laws of the universe blew it back in the ballpark, because there is a finite limit to how much awesomeness one man can contain. Don't feel too bad, though -- the Toddfather would get his soon enough.