When San Francisco Giants center fielder Angel Pagan's three run home run went over the fence at the Great American Ballpark Thursday afternoon, the Giants bench erupted with excitement knowing they took the 6-5 lead in the ninth inning. Cincinnati Reds closer Sean Marshall stood stunned on the mound, in shock of the rapid turn of events as the Reds had the lead essentially the entire game.
But it was ultimately home plate umpire Tim Welke that gave Pagan the change to play the hero, calling a ball on Pagan's 0-2 count, giving him just the pitch he needed to win the game. Why was this ball so significant? Make the jump to find out.
Take a look at the third pitch.
Via NBC Hardball Talk's Craig Calcaterra:
Now, I'm no scientist or umpire or anything, but by the look of it I can tell that is most certainly a strike. I mean, it's more down the middle than strike two, and even higher in the zone. But am I, or the San Francisco Giants going to complain? Of course not. That fourth strike (or first ball depending on your perspective) gave San Francisco their first win in Cincy since 2010. I'll take 'em any way possible.
Sometimes it's better to be lucky than to be good, and thankfully Angel Pagan was both on this day.
For more discussion and analysis of the San Francisco Giants, please check out McCovey Chronicles.