You hear the phrase often in baseball, "he knocked the cover off that ball" when a hit is particularly powerful, but the Milwaukee Brewers' Martin Maldonado managed to actually accomplish the feat. With the Brewers up 4-2 over the Pirates, Maldonado sent a grounder towards third base. As you can see in the video below, the hit fluttered its way to third, where Pedro Alvarez had to field it and attempt to make the throw to first.
Around the 1:02 mark in the video we get a great look at the ball as it's coming off of Maldonado's bat. Before it even bounces the first time, the cover is already coming loose, and the hit flops it's way down the third base line.
"I was surprised," Maldonado, the Milwaukee Brewers' catcher, said of the hit according to Fox Sports. "I didn't know what happened when he threw the ball to first base. I thought he threw the ball to second base. I was in shock."
It's fun to talk about how the Brewers powerhouse hitter smashed the cover clean off the ball, but of course the ball itself was obviously defective. That fact doesn't take away from the spectacle of the event however.
"In my eight-year career at this level, I've never seen something like that," Brewers centerfielder Carlos Gomez said."It's amazing. It's something that I'm never going to forget."
That's saying something coming from a guy who ESPN says is developing into a force to be reckoned with for the Milwaukee Brewers. Gomez may not quite be a household name just yet, but ESPN reports that Brewers fans, and opposing pitcher, are well aware of the Milwaukee centerfielder's prowess both at the plate, and in the field. In 2013 Carlos smashed 24 homeruns, stole 40 bases and played phenomenal defense for the Brewers. He received his first Gold Glove award this past Sunday in front of the Milwaukee crowd.
So how do you follow up literally smashing the cover off the ball in a Major League Baseball game? You use that hit to score a run. With Maldonado safely on first, the next batter sacrificed to put runners on second and third for Milwaukee, and then Gomez plated him with a two out single.
"We got a run because of it," Milwaukee Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said regarding Maldonado's smashing hit. "I don't know. It's a strange game."
[Image courtesy of USA Today Sports]