Almost lost among the goose eggs of the marathon game at Safeco Field was a sensational show of concentration by Mariners first baseman Kendrys Morales in the eighth inning — which ended up being the middle of the game!
With the game obviously still scoreless and Chicago's Jeff Keppinger at the plate. On a 1-2 pitch from Mariners' starter Hisashi Iwakuma, Keppinger floated a popup down the right field line and into Safeco Field's foul territory that Morales, second baseman Nick Franklin and right fielder Endy Chavez all pursued.
As it turns out, Morales, not exactly the most athletic defender of the bunch, was the guy with the best angle, and he ended up running the baseball down as he neared the sidewall at full speed. However, as the ball landed in his glove, he was unable to put the squeeze on it due to his momentum and he sort of juggled it in the direction of the stands before barreling over a couple of fans.
For the full second or so that the baseball hung in the air, it felt like a lost cause for Morales. But he never gave up on it, and at the very last second was able to snatch it out of the air before a fan could grab it or it could hit a seat. He then tumbled head first over the wall near a railing, but held on tightly this time to record the final out of the inning with pretty spectacular flair.
To his credit, first base umpire Todd Tichenor got the call right.
All for naught though. The pitcher's duel turned slugfest was eventually won by the Sox.