Los Angeles Angels outfielder Cameron Maybin struck out four times in his five at-bats on Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Dodgers in the inter-city rivalry game.
Normally, that’s not a cause for celebration, but Maybin was swarmed by his teammates after his fourth and final strikeout in the Angels’ 3-2 victory.
That’s because, with a runner on second and one out in the bottom of the ninth inning, with the score tied at 2-2, Maybin swung at a pitch in the dirt. The ball got away from Dodgers catcher Yasmani Grandal, so Maybin eventually started running to first base as base runner Ben Revere went to third.
As you can see in the video below, though, Grandal’s throw sailed into right field, allowing Revere to come home to score the game-winning run in thrilling fashion:
Just your run of the mill, walk-off strikeout win. pic.twitter.com/mzoTxEuOpS
— 120 Sports (@120Sports) June 29, 2017
It’s not often that a strikeout wins a game for a team, but that’s exactly what happened to Maybin on Wednesday night – another reminder that anything can happen on any given night in baseball.
After scoring the winning run, Revere told ESPN.com that having speedy players on base helps the Angels make things happen on the base paths:
“That’s the game of baseball, I guess?” he said. “It’s a good thing we’ve got the speed here to cause havoc on the base paths.”
Maybin is lucky he eventually decided to run to first, because his initial reaction was to drop to one knee in frustration. Even the announcers were screaming at him to run to first base.
Grandal is taking the loss hard, as the throw he’s made thousands of times in his career got away from him in an important situation. But, he added, baseball is a funny game that way:
“That’s the beauty of this game: You’ve got to be three or four steps ahead,” Grandal said. “I didn’t see that scenario coming. I saw just about every other scenario coming. … As a catcher, you need to be 20 steps ahead of everything. I guess today I was only 19.”
Grandal will likely make that play easily the next time he is forced to do so, and it may be a long time before we see a game end like that again.