With Seattle and Detroit deadlocked at 3-3 in the bottom of the ninth last night, Mariners left fielder Jake Fraley drifted back toward the left-field wall. Isaac Paredes' blast was dropping out of the sky, presumably into the bullpen for a walk-off homer to delight the home crowd. But Fraley had other thoughts built around the memory of Endy Chavez's iconic grab in Game 7 of the 2006 National League Championship Series. And he saw them into reality, scaling the fence to bring the ball back and beginning a double play to send the game into extra innings.
It was pure brilliance. A do-or-die play with the highest stakes. And extremely true to the original.
The Mariners would go on to win in 11 innings after posting six extra-inning runs, as opposed to the '06 Mets, who are still waiting for Carlos Beltran to take the bat off his shoulders and fend off that Adam Wainwright breaking ball.
Always good to see bold new takes on the classics.
After careful consideration, I am willing to say that robbing a would-be walkoff homer is a close second to a play at the plate in terms of apex baseball excitement. Stay tuned for future updates.