Paging Hollywood…paging Hollywood…
I have an excellent movie pitch about a Cleveland Guardians player who put a team on his shoulders and notched a trillion RBIs in about twenty seconds.
Okay, eight RBIs in four innings.
Still pretty magical stuff.
The Guardians were down 8-2 in the ninth.
Across the White Sox’s parking lot, Mercedes-Benz’s, Lexus, and Four Runners were summarily turned on and warmed up by fans expecting to be pulling out of the stadium in a few minutes’ time.
Then, something…strange happened.
First, a home run by Andrés Giménez.
A cool move, but probably just a blip.
Then, an error from White Sox third baseman Yoán Moncada scored Amed Rosario.
A few batters aboard later, Josh Naylor takes the plate.
With two outs in the top of the ninth, Naylor stared down White Sox pitcher Liam Hendricks.
The stuff kids dream of in the backyard or sandlot.
Hendricks hurled a 99 mph fastball.
But it hung high.
Dusting the top of the strike zone.
Hendricks probably expected the sound of ball slapping leather, and the applause of a few scattered fans still in attendance to watch the end of a blowout.
It never came.
Instead, Hendricks was greeted with gasps from the crowds and the sound that haunts most pitchers’ nightmares: pop.
Naylor uncorked one; he sent the ball soaring over the centerfield stands.
We go to extras…
Naylor was still hungry.
In the 11th, Naylor again trotted to the batter’s box.
Extra innings had been kind to both teams; the Guardians scored a run in the top of the tenth, only for Chicago to match the effort in the bottom of the frame.
Two batters were already aboard for Naylor.
It’s a spot he’s been comfortable in all season long.
This season, he’s 10-17 with runners in scoring position.
And Naylor delivered again.
White Sox pitcher Ryan Burr tried to fool Naylor with a sinker.
Instead, Naylor clubbed it.
The three-run go-ahead homer sealed the deal for Cleveland.
The cardiac (Guard-iac?) kids did it.
Naylor was stoked:
Josh Naylor AGAIN!
— MLB (@MLB) May 10, 2022
And so was most of social media:
Josh Naylor went psycho mode after his go ahead homer pic.twitter.com/z0BkOwSwph
— Barstool Sports (@barstoolsports) May 10, 2022
— Cleveland Guardians (@CleGuardians) May 10, 2022
Josh Naylor of the @CleGuardians is the first player in MLB history to hit two 3+ run homers in the 9th inning or later in the same game.
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) May 10, 2022
JOSH NAYLOR OWNS THE SOUTH SIDE!!!
— McNeil (@Reflog_18) May 10, 2022
Josh Naylor’s celebration is one of the more animated I’ve ever seen from a Cleveland baseball player.
Love that passion.
— Hayden Grove (@H_Grove) May 10, 2022
JOSH NAYLOR SAID WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE IM!!! pic.twitter.com/W9VUrvJLGL
— Fuzzy (@fuzzyfromyt) May 10, 2022
Josh Naylor might be added to the king category
— KevinGohD (@KevinGohD) May 10, 2022
I’ve watched a lot of @CleGuardians baseball in my lifetime. Seen a lot of great games. But tonight’s effort was one of the most resilient performances I’ve seen from the ball club. #guardians #joshnaylor
— Joey Mistretta (@JoeyMistretta_) May 10, 2022
I DOZE OFF ON THE COUCH FOR 2 MINUTES AND WE TIE THE GAME WITH A JOSH NAYLOR GRAND SLAM??? 🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨🚨
THIS. TEAM. WON’T. QUIT.
A BUNCH OF MF DAWGSSSS#Fortheland
— 216 Baseball Podcast (@216BaseballPod) May 10, 2022
How Josh Naylor is walking through Chicago pic.twitter.com/Cr0rM8L0yp
— Marco (@LurpoPolo) May 10, 2022
It was a night when most of the attention was on the Angels star and last year’s AL MVP Shohei Ohtani, who knocked a grand slam of his own, the first of his career.
But fans made sure attention was given where it was deserved:
Yes, yes, very exciting, but have you seen what Josh Naylor is doing right now without any batting gloves? https://t.co/hvy1ZZs93B
— Kevin Dillon (@ByKevinDillon) May 10, 2022
Let’s just say, Naylor’s night broke a lot of records, per ESPN:
“Naylor became the first player since the stat became official in 1920 to have eight RBIs from the eighth inning on in a game. He also became the first player in major league history with multiple three-run home runs (or a grand slam) from the ninth inning on in a game.”
It was a great way to start against the White Sox.
With the win, Cleveland jumped Chicago in the standings.
Let’s hope they can keep throwing dirt on their division rivals today.