LAKELAND, Fla. -- Matt Hoffman's right knee looked a lot larger Monday thanks to Evan Gattis' line drive off it Sunday afternoon, but much to the Tigers' relief, he didn't have any structural damage. The only lasting impact was about as stellar of an ending as an 18-3 game could have.
Hoffman still managed to run down Gattis' liner on the first-base side and throw to first for the out.
"I almost fell twice running," Hoffman said. "I took two steps, almost fell, took another step, almost fell again. How that play was made, I have no idea."
He had even less of an idea about the last out, a behind-the-back grab on Josh Wilson's sharp bouncer back up the middle. He could've claimed that he practiced that, but he didn't try. The fact that he glanced out toward center field when the ball was in his glove was a bit of a giveaway.
"That was more like, 'Let's throw the glove out,'" Hoffman said. "I felt it hit, but I didn't think it went in."
It couldn't have come at a better time.
"Once I got hit [in the knee], it stung, and I know I had about five minutes left [before it ballooned]," Hoffman said.
Time appeared to be up by the time he limped into the Tigers' clubhouse. Hoffman was limping around the clubhouse Monday morning and was held out of workouts as a precaution, but he said he would be fine.