On Sunday, Tigers outfielder Mikie Mahtook attempted to catch a fly ball off the bat of Jose Ramirez -- but didn't, and actually wound up assisting it over the left-field fence for a home run. It was quite an image:
A day later, Detroit was hosting the Royals for a Labor Day matinee. Mahtook hit a deep drive toward the left-field wall in a bid for a home run, but there was Alex Gordon, who timed a leap and pulled down the baseball before it cleared the fence ... and without assisting it on its way:
It's worth pointing out, as seen in the GIFs above, that Gordon's robbery occurred in just about the same area as Mahtook's "assist." That's baseball for you. This would prove to be an important moment, considering the Royals held on in the ninth to win, 7-6.
For Gordon, who ended a game with a homer-stealing catch just a month ago, this is no big deal. He does this sort of thing all the time.
So did Gordon think he had a chance to make the play right off the bat?
"Not really because when he hit it, it came off the bat pretty well," he told MLB.com's Kyle Beery after the game. "I just tried to get back to the fence right away and get in a good position and luckily, it didn't get too far over. I just timed my jump perfectly and I was able to make a good catch."
Gordon does have some experience with this particular wall in left field, though:
"Trust me, when I take BP, I actually practice that a little bit when (heavy hitters) are hitting. It's a short fence and you can grab it and get over it a little bit, so just something I do during BP."
As for Mahtook, well ... the past two games are a reminder of the ability of baseball to be a humbling thing.