Amazing achievements don’t just happen, terrific triumphs don’t just appear, and wonderful wins don’t just come out of thin air. In fact, truth be told, precious plays are priceless and don’t come around every day. Such prized plays made in magical moments by players everywhere are to be valued and treasured, relished and cherished. And such is the case in the first no hitter pitched by the Washington National’s Baseball team.
Starting pitcher Jordan Zimmermann was one out from history Sunday afternoon, and for what must have seemed like an eternity of forever’s, he watched little-used rookie left fielder Steven Souza Jr. — a defensive replacement in the ninth inning — give chase to a line drive that threatened to dash and destroy his destined no-hitter. It was the bottom of the ninth; there were two outs, and a CG (Complete Game) no hitter was on the line. Enter rookie reserve outfielder Steven Souza Jr.
One out from history. That’s where Zimmerman found himself, and where he almost found a place to doubt his date with destiny. The hit by the Marlins Christian Yelich came on a 2-1 count. Zimmermann hurled a 94-mph fast ball on the outside corner and Yelich showed his opposite field power and drove it to deep left-center field. Nationals’ now renowned and previously unknown Steven Souza and center fielder Denard Span took off for the deep drive while the stadium crowd stood silent and breathless. Souza’s angle of pursuit couldn’t have been any better than Spans, but yet he dove at the warning track and went airborne to make an over-the-shoulder grab to preserve the no-hitter.
One out from destiny, it was quite a way to cap a regular season in which the Nationals finished with the NL’s best record, 96-66. Washington hosts San Francisco or Pittsburgh in Game 1 of a division series Friday. “Just an epic day for an epic season,” said Denard Span, who set a Nationals single-season record with his 184th hit. Zimmermann (14-5) threw 104 pitches, had 10 strikeouts and allowed only two baserunners. After retiring the first 14 batters. “When he caught it,” teammate Dunn said, “it was just like, ‘Really? Did that just happen?'”
Before we overplay the play we want to be careful not to minimize the moment or dampen and downplay the end of a really special game that comes at the end of a really special regular season. And it ain’t over yet, as Nationals Baseball fans hope it doesn’t end until they begin to celebrate a World Series win. Possible? Actually yes. Probable? You can check that box too.
Just like Jordan Zimmerman, you might be one out from victory, one out from history, one out from destiny. You may have come to realize that there might not be a real Santa Claus, or a real Tooth Fairy, or a real Easter Bunny, but I hope you still conclude that there is still a real reason to believe in miracles.
So what are you destined for? Where are you going and what are you going to do when you get there? Write your own script. Don’t let fate foretell your future. Determine to disappoint your detractors and decide your own destiny. God is still in the miracle business. If you want help (and trust me, you’ll need it) you can have it, and you can have it today.