Anne in the Stands: Gomez's stunning grab
A fan perspective of the outfielder's game-saving catch in the top of the ninth
You could call this season choppy. Injury-plagued. You could call it painful. Or frustrating. If you're an optimist, you try to convince yourself there are glimmers of hope. It's a long season. All that stuff.
And then you witness an amazing moment. A stunning play. A brilliant, balletic effort. And in a flash, you're a believer again. That's baseball, the sport that has the power to convert a normal person into a frenzied fan.
You turn on the game late. It's the top of the ninth. The Brewers are ahead by one run. And what do you witness? A spectacle. A spectacular spectacle. One man is on base. Cincinnati's Joey Votto is at the plate. He clobbers the ball. The sphere sails toward the wall in center field. No question in Votto's mind -- it's out of the park. Two runs will score.
Carlos Gomez bounds toward the wall, springs into the air, cocks his mitt over the top of the wall and bounds down again, leaping up and down like a yo-yo. A grin lights his face before he goes on one knee, giving thanks.
Cameras catch every part of the drama. As Votto rounds first base, his triumphant grin fades. He pauses, frowns and points at Gomez. Points again. "Show me that ball," he indicates. Gomez flips his wrist, flashing his mitt.
Nestled inside is the ball.
The crowd goes crazy. The crowd of one in my living room goes crazy too.
As I watch the replay two more times, my astonishment grows. How did Gomez know when to jump? Exactly when to jump? How did he know how far over the fence he should reach? How could he see the ball snap into his mitt?
The man is truly a marvel.
And baseball is truly a wonderful game!