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The Bottom of the Ninth

It was brief but boy was it packed with meaning.

David Aardsma started off with David Murphy and looked like the closing ace that everyone else saw in 2009, running him to a 1-2 count and then blowing another fastball right by Murphy despite it coming in the same place as the prior two pitches. It wasn't a dominating strikeout like the kind Felix can engineer when he mixes up his pitches, but it's the sort of intimidating strikeout when you can throw the same pitch three straight times and the hitter can do nothing with it.

Time for Elvis Andrus to step up. Andrus fouled off three pitches and worked a 2-2 count before sending a centered, belt-high fastball to deeeeeep right center. It was providence that it was hit to a little outcropping in the outfield wall, allowing Franklin Gutierrez a few more needed feet to keep the ball in the yard. What can be said about that catch? Gutierrez has been on fire with his glove (and his bat) this year and just watching this guy patrol the field makes me feel secure in my faith in his UZR this season. David Aardsma may make us nervous, but Franklin Gutierrez makes me hopeful.

While trying to catch our breath over Guti's play, Aardsma faced Julio Borbon and quickly had him at 1-2. A ball and four fouls later, Aardsma got a foul tip into Rob Johnson's glove on the ninth pitch and the inning, and game, was over. Two swinging strikeouts and one fly ball to the wall. David Aardsma in three batters.

GIFs (caution, they're big files):

The full play
Just the catch
Zoomed in catch