8. Alex Gordon Crashes into the Wall
There were many great defensive plays made by the Kansas City Royals during the postseason. We, frankly, could have done a top-10 list solely on defensive moments. But given all the late-inning drama and massive home runs, the defense unfortunately takes a back seat on our countdown.
What can I say? We dig the long ball.
Here, though, we pay tribute to the sensational catch Gordon made to help preserve a 2-1 win over Baltimore in Game 4. In the top of the fifth, Hardy led off with a shot to left field that looked to be certainly over Gordon’s head.
And it was. On a dead run, Gordon extended his left arm out and pulled the ball in on the warning track. His momentum sent him slamming into the wall with a lot of force on his left shoulder.
But he hung on, and so did the Kansas City Royals. Jason Vargas struck out the next two batters, while the bullpen helped close out a one-run game.
Some would argue there were better defensive plays to highlight. That’s fair. Cain made several sliding grabs during the postseason that barely missed the cut. But this catch by Gordon felt different. If he misses that ball—given his inevitable crash—Hardy is likely at third base with nobody out.
Either way, it’s hard to top Ernie Johnson’s call on TBS. “Did he catch, he did catch that ball!” A question turned exclamation mid-sentence. That’s enough to land it on this list.