clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2023 SnakePit Plays of the Year: No doubting Thomas and McCarthy

Our young outfielders take home both regular and post-season awards for Play of the Year!

If you buy something from an SB Nation link, Vox Media may earn a commission. See our ethics statement.

Championship Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Arizona Diamondbacks - Game Four Photo by Norm Hall/Getty Images

Regular season

  1. 47% - Jake McCarthy’s incredible catch, April 4
  2. 24% - Gabriel Moreno 13th-inning walk-off, September 16
  3. 13% - Nick Ahmed’s dazzling play, June 28
  4. 7% - Gurriell Jr. to Perdomo to Moreno, July 8
  5. 4% - Alek Thomas’ lunging grab, August 22
    4% - Jose Herrera nabs Baez at third, June 9

With almost twice as many votes as any other candidate, and falling just short of an overall majority, McCarthy’s all-out effort proved unable to resist. Even at the time, it received high praise, being called “one of the best running catches I’ve ever seen at Petco Park,” as well as “an early Catch of the Year candidate.” He said after the game, “I had a pretty good read on it. The wall came up pretty quick. The catch itself I don’t think was super difficult. But I didn’t realize how close I was to the wall. Obviously, I flipped over. Luckily, I didn’t get hurt or anything. The concrete didn’t feel great, but I feel fine.” For your entertainment, here is another angle on the play, in slow-motion.

Previous winners


  1. 36% - Alek Thomas, game-tying PH home-run, NLCS
  2. 25% - Gabriel Moreno homers, then doesn’t, then homers again, NLDS
  3. 22% - Evan Longoria catch into double-play, NLWC
  4. 11% - Christian Walker bare-handed stop, World Series
  5. 6% - Zac Gallen buckles Freddie Freeman, NLDS

It’s likely little exaggeration to say that this hit changed the National League Championship Series. Arizona were 2-1 down, and were trailing by two runs in the bottom of the eighth. A defeat would leave them staring into the elimination abyss. But Thomas was having none of it. His blast into the pool area tied the game, and later in the inning, Gabriel Moreno gave the D-backs the lead. They’d level the series at two, and go on to win it in seven. Thomas said, “I’ll never forget this moment... That play is definitely something that you see in your dreams.” He’s not wrong. It was the first pinch-hit homer to tie a post-season contest that late, with their team trailing by two or more, since 2008.

Finally, as promised, here’s the reel of the ten plays that received the most votes, in ascending order. There was a tie for tenth, so I used my executive authority to give the final spot to Jose Herrera over Alek Thomas. After all, Thomas has already received his moment in the sun!