Riding a five-game winning streak and facing the Chicago Cubs in the second of a three-game set 10 years ago at Dodger Stadium, Alex Cora came up to bat in the bottom of the seventh inning with a runner on first and the Los Angeles Dodgers holding a 2-0 lead.
With Matt Clement pitching for the Cubs, the count went to 2-1, then 2-2 after Cora fouled off a pitch. What would next transpire earned the honor of Vin Scully calling it one of the better at-bat he’s ever seen. Cora fouled off 14 consecutive pitches before capping the at-bat off with a two-run homer, his second of the season, on the 18th pitch.
Cora’s plan in the at-bat was to simply single into right field, according to Jon Weisman of DodgerInsider.com:
From what I remember of the at-bat, I only had one thing in mind — to shoot the hole between first and second,” Cora recalled. “I just kept rolling over, rolling over.”
Not known for his home run power, finishing with 35 in his 14-year career, Cora is fond of the prolonged at-bat, but doesn’t view it as a defining moment in his career:
I wasn’t the greatest hitter, so an at-bat like that, that’s always going to be one of the highlights of my career,” Cora said. “I don’t brag about it – it’s cool that it happened. But it’s not something that defined my career.”
The Dodgers went on to defeat the Cubs, 4-0 and improved to 22-10. Some of the excitement surrounding Cora’s at-bat and the winning streak was quickly put to rest as the Dodgers dropped their next eight games. 2004 was Cora’s final season with the Dodgers, as he went on to play with the Cleveland Indians and Boston Red Sox, among others.
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