As the ball left Christian Yelich's bat in the top of the ninth Sunday, Nationals pitcher Jordan Zimmermann immediately thought that it was a "no-doubt double" that would painfully end his no-hit bid. He threw his head back in disappointment.
That is, until defensive replacement Steven Souza made a sprinting, diving catch in left field to snag the ball and clinch the Nationals' first no-hitter since moving to Washington a decade ago.
"The one thing on my mind is, no matter how I'm going to get there, I'm going to get there," Souza told reporters via AP. "Getting there, I kind of blacked out."
Souza's catch was arguably the defensive play of the season, but it is not the only impressive catch in major-league history to preserve or clinch a no-hitter or perfect game. With the help of ESPN Stats & Information, here are some of the other most notable catches:
July 23, 2009
Chicago White Sox outfielder DeWayne Wise, who like Souza was inserted into the game as a defensive replacement, robs Gabe Kapler of a home run for the first out of the ninth inning in Mark Buehrle's perfect game.
July 10, 2009
Aaron Rowand of the San Francisco Giants saves Jonathan Sanchez's no-hitter with a leaping catch in center field with one out in the ninth.
July 28, 1994
The Angels' Rex Hudler has his line drive snagged by Rusty Greer on a diving play to record the first out of the ninth inning in Kenny Rogers' perfect game for the Rangers.
April 15, 1987
Robin Yount catches Eddie Murray's line drive to center to ensure Juan Nieves' no-hitter for the Brewers against the Orioles.
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