Aledmys Diaz hits grand slam in his 1st AB back. Diaz was a childhood friend of Jose Fernandez ⚾️🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/5uj346xUp2
— HitFactory Athletics (@BaseballRealest) September 28, 2016
St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Aledmys Diaz honoured his late childhood friend, José Fernández in a big way during Tuesday night’s game against the Cincinnati Reds.
In the bottom of the 4th inning with the bases loaded and a single out, Diaz stepped up to the plate for his 2nd at-bat of the game. Being down 2-1, Diaz took a smart approach to the plate by being conservative with his swings. After looking past 2 balls and a strike, Diaz smashed a 2-1 pitch over the wall at left centre for a grand slam to give his Cardinals a 5-2 lead over the Reds. It was a deep HR, and the entire stadium was fired up after the huge play. It was an emotional play for Diaz, who pointed up to the sky as he touched the home base.
That play ended up opening the flood gates for the Cardinals, who ended up adding 7 more runs to win this one, 12-5.
— Brenden Schaeffer (@bschaeffer12) September 28, 2016
This was an incredible moment for Diaz. It was his 17th HR of the season, and he’ll likely never hit another one that meant more to him. This comes a day after Dee Gordon payed tribute to Fernández by hitting a heart-warming HR in his 1st at-bat.
Diaz finished the game going 1-4 with a single run, 4 total bases, 4 RBIs, and a lone HR. He probably doesn’t care about the victory, but his big play ended up being the spark for his team’s success in this blowout win.
The victory moves the Cardinals to a 82-75 record. They’re only a game behind the 2nd place NL Wild Card spot that’s currently held by the San Francisco Giants. They aren’t far away from the 1st Wild Card spot as well, being only 1.5 games back of the New York Mets. The St. Louis-based team will have to win all of their remaining games and hope for some help in order to get a spot in the single-game elimination playoff. It’s going to be a fantastic finish to a pretty solid season.
The Cardinals will host the Reds again in the 3rd of a 4-game series on Wednesday at Busch Stadium; with the 1st pitch scheduled at 8:15 p.m. EST.
All stats for this article are from MLB.com
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