Every special season has its extra-special moments, and last night's seventh-inning homer by Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Gerardo Parra was one of them.
The D-Backs were down 4-3 to the Los Angeles Dodgers when the scrappy Parra stepped to the plate against reliever Hong-Chih Kuo. Parra had batted against the hard-throwing lefty only three times previously, but hit a homer.
The first pitch was up and in, and would have skulled Parra if he hadn't ducked at the last moment. He stepped out of the box to regroup and stared hard at Kuo for what seemed like a long time.
A few pitches later, Kuo tried to blow a fastball by the hyper-focused Parra, who promptly turned on it and blasted it to right-center. It was but his seventh round-tripper of the season.
Parra stood there for a very long second and admired his work before sprinting around the bases.
As he crossed home plate, Dodgers' catcher A.J. Ellis chirped something nasty in his direction--baseball protocol dictates that you don't show up the opposition by watching your hit sail out of the park.
Both benches screamed not-so-sweet nothings at each other, with Arizona manager Kirk Gibson and Dodgers' lefty ace Clayton Kershaw (a super-cool guy, BTW) leading the expletives.
It just seemed inevitable under the current amazing (for Arizona) circumstances that the D-Backs would end up winning the game, and they did, 5-4 in eleven innings.
The playoffs are right around the corner--go figure!
Cy Young award candidate Kershaw goes tonight against Arizona's excellent Daniel Hudson in what should be another good one in what has become one of the more improbable local pro sports seasons in recent memory. For more information, go to www.diamondbacks.com.