The Houston Astros sealed an 11th-inning 6-5 win over the Oakland Athletics with a play which gives coaches and players nightmares for years to comes.
Alex Bregman, tied in sixth in the WRC this season, stepped up to the plate with two outs remaining. Kemp and Tucker occupied first and second, with the Astros needing one run to win. Tied at 5 – 5, Minute Maid Park held its breath and remained incredulous as events unfolded.
Bregman struck the ball against the home plate, watching as it rolled foul before returning fair. The A’s catcher Lucroy recovered the ball, but as he attempted to tag Bregman, he dropped it to continue the madness which engulfed Minute Maid Park.
Lucroy shied at first baseman Canha, with the ball cannoning off Bregman’s helmet and falling foul. While everyone waited for Buster Keaton to leap from the bleachers, Tucker traversed the bases to steal the winning run.
Bregman made no attempt to hide his good fortune. “I think it was the softest ball anyone’s ever hit,” he said afterward. After his shallow pop fly against the Padres, it would come as no surprise to learn Bregman adopted Gary Player’s maxim: the more I practice, the luckier I get.
Unsurprising, Oakland challenged the play but on-field call stood.