HOUSTON -- Kneeling on the mound of turf known as Tal's Hill and holding the baseball high in the air, the look on Carlos Gomez's face said it all: Wow.
Gomez made one of the Brewers' finest defensive efforts of the season in the seventh inning of Tuesday's loss to the Astros. Manning center field, Gomez sprinted straight back for a Jason Castro fly ball, scaled the hill named for former Astros executive Tal Smith and made an over-the-shoulder catch for the first out of the inning.
"I worked on it [in batting practice]. I got a few balls like that in center field kind of like that, and I dropped them," Gomez said. "It was good practice."
Gomez said he'd made a similar catch before, in Johnson City, Tenn., home of the Cardinals' rookie league team. That hill has since been removed.
Was it the best catch of Gomez's career? No, he said. He would pick one of his home run-robbing grabs, because they more directly affected the ballgames.
But considering the degree of difficulty, the fact Gomez made the catch about 430 feet from home plate on a hill bearing a flagpole, this one was pretty good.
"Like Jason said, 'I can't hit a ball any better than that. The only way I could hit it any better is if the pitcher threw it harder,'" Astros manager Bo Porter said. "You tip your cap because it was a great play by Gomez."