June 24, 2012 – Oakland, CA
The Oakland Athletics were down to their last out and their last pitch. Trailing 2-1 in the bottom of the ninth with men on first and second, the fate of the game rested on rookie catcher Derek Norris, who worked the count to 3-2.
San Francisco Giants reliever Santiago Casilla threw the payoff pitch and Norris knocked it over the left field wall for a walk-off three-run homer that gave his team a 4-2 victory. It also prevented a sweep by the Giants.
It was inexperience versus incompetence. With only 11 Major League at-bats, Norris was a sure out. Except, Casilla had been atrocious the past two games.
In the first game of the interleague series, he gave up a solo home run, but still earned the save. In the second game, he allowed a walk, two hits and an earned run without registering an out. His fellow relievers bailed him out to preserve the win.
This time, his ineffectiveness cost him.
On the other side, Norris was being interviewed when he was plastered with a shaving-cream pie and double-doused with water and Gatorade. Though the shaving cream stung his eyes, he said without hesitation, “It burned a little bit, but I’ve never had this feeling before so I will take it right now.”