CINCINNATI -- In the wee minutes of Tuesday, with two outs in the 14th inning and men on second and third, Ryan Ludwick pummeled a Rick van den Hurk pitch on the ground toward left field.
The Pirates and the Reds seemed certain to remain tied at 3 for only a couple more seconds.
Not so fast. Pittsburgh shortstop Chase d'Arnaud dove to glove the smash deep in the hole, a few feet on the grass. But when d'Arnaud sprang to his feet and reached into his glove ready to cock his arm for a throw ... the ball squirted out of his bare hand.
d'Arnaud re-grabbed the ball in mid-air, hopped in frustration, and joined his Pittsburgh teammates in making their slow way off the field, on the wrong end of a 4-3 final.
Other than the irritation of not getting to finish the play after such a sensational stop, the bobble didn't seem very consequential to observers. As deep as the ball had been hit, d'Arnaud didn't appear to have a play.
He disagreed, and not just because Ludwick is one of the slower runners on the Reds.
"Oh, yeah, I had a play," d'Arnaud said. "When a ball is hit that hard, it doesn't matter who's running, I can get him.
"I could've gotten Cutch [Andrew McCutchen] out," added d'Arnaud with a glint in his eye, citing the Bucs' own fastest player.