Pair walks off in grand style on Mother's Day
Stanton, Votto both hit decisive home runs with bases loaded
Mother's Day seemed to produce a flair for the dramatic this year, with the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton and the Reds' Joey Votto combining for a grand feat that hadn't been accomplished in 14 years.
Stanton and Votto both connected on walk-off grand slams Sunday, marking the first day with two walk-off slams since April 10, 1998, when Mo Vaughn of the Red Sox and the Padres' Steve Finley accomplished the feat.
In Stanton's case, the blast capped off a furious six-run ninth-inning rally by the Marlins against the visiting Mets. The Marlins loaded the bases with two outs, and Stanton, who was using a pink bat as part of Major League Baseball's effort to promote breast cancer awareness, unloaded on a first-pitch fastball from Manny Acosta.
"That one was one of those no-doubters off the bat," said Stanton, who went 3-for-5 in an 8-4 victory against New York. "First-pitch heater, right down the middle. I'm looking for a pitch that is going to get the heart of the plate."
As for Votto, his grand slam was just the icing on a three-homer day in a 9-6 win over Nationals. The slugger went 4-for-5 with six RBIs, rewarding fans who had stuck it out through a three-hour, 36-minute rain delay prior to the first pitch.
Votto's game-winning trot around the bases ultimately came seven hours, 21 minutes after the scheduled first pitch.
The pair of stellar displays certainly differ from those of Vaughn and Finley in '98. Both Vaughn and Finley were hitless prior to stepping to the plate for their game-winning ninth-inning drives.
Vaughn's Red Sox, however, did stage a very similar rally to Stanton's Marlins. Boston conceded two runs in the top half of the ninth to allow the Mariners to stretch their lead to 5-2. In the bottom half, the Red Sox rallied for seven runs -- besting the Marlins' six on Sunday -- and Vaughn's grand slam off Paul Spoljaric, like Stanton's, came on the heels of a hit batter to load the bases.
Votto and the Reds, on the other hand, chose to follow the script written by Finley, who clubbed his homer off Felix Rodriguez. Both the Padres' rally in '98 and the Reds' rally on Sunday came after the same pattern: single, out, out, walk, walk, grand slam.
Sunday proved yet again that history certainly does repeat itself.