With no regard for his body, Detroit Tigers' outfielder, 38-year-old Torii Hunter put everything on the line with the game on the line and the results were tough to watch. Hunter flipped over the wall, coming close to stealing a game-tying grand slam by David Ortiz in the bottom of the eighth inning as the Boston Red Sox trailed 1-5 in Game 2 of the ALCS.
The rest was history.
Hunter was in the Red Sox's bullpen after almost making an acrobatic grab, while Ortiz circled the bases. The game was tied and Hunter was banged up.
Here is the break down.
One guy at the bar said Hunter would not be able to sleep if the Tigers lost the series right after Papi sent millions of Red Sox fans into a frenzy. It wasn't just Fenway Park fans going nuts, but everybody around the world. It did not seem like Hunter truly had a shot a catching the ball, but MLB, like always, captured the moment perfectly.
We have to look at this again.
This truly was incredibly closer than it looked on replay. Hunter might be 38 years old, but he actually over ran this ball. Could you believe that a maybe older, slower Hunter would have made the play? Ortiz hit the home run on a line drive that could have only cleared that fence in Fenway Park or maybe land five rows back in Yankee Stadium. To think that maybe a younger Hunter would have read the ball better off the bat would have been absurd.
However, Hunter jumped sooner, maybe he at least gets the ball in his glove. There was no guarantee that he would have landed in the bullpen with the ball as the outfielder took a hard fall, but he could have made the play. He was dying to cover ground and make the play, but his momentum carried him up and over the wall, ball-less.
Not that this failed attempt is to blame, but the Red Sox and Tigers are now tied 1-1 heading into Game 3 of the ALCS. It is a great victory for the Red Sox as it keeps their hopes alive as the Tigers' bullpen ruined another Max Scherzer masterpiece in 2013. Scherzer went seven innings, striking out 13 Red Sox, totaling 30 in the first two games of the series. The Red Sox could only muster a run off the future Cy Young Award winner in this one.
All the Tigers can say is "What if?!" What if Hunter had made the grab? It would have truly been "The Catch." It exemplified hustle and skill, characteristics always used to describe Hunter's style of play throughout his career. Unfortunately on Sunday evening, it was Ortiz who once again looked like a hero in Boston and in the playoffs.