The Los Angeles Dodgers scored an early victory in Game 6 of the NLCS when Scott Van Slyke held firm and refused to budge before St. Louis Cardinals right-hander Joe Kelly finally broke his gaze during a tense pregame standoff.
After the national anthem, both men remained standing on the field, transfixed on one another. Exactly why they chose to do so remains up in the air.
USA Today's Bob Nightengale posited that the answer may have to wait until after the game.
Joe Kelly and Scott Van Slyke may have nothing to do with tonight's game, but certainly they'll be asked about the pre-game staredown— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) October 19, 2013
Pittsburgh Pirates outfielder Andrew McCutchen was watching at home and couldn't help but to be entertained.
Not gonna lie...that Van Slyke and Kelly standoff was kinda funny.— andrew mccutchen (@TheCUTCH22) October 19, 2013
Finally home plate umpire Greg Gibson had to step in after 12 minutes and tell the players there was a game that needed to be played.
Scott Van Slyke vs. Joe Kelly standoff. Umpire had to tell them to leave the field. pic.twitter.com/Yhq04tplzW— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) October 19, 2013
Kelly blinked first, but it was Van Slyke who actually stepped foot in the dugout first. Determining a winner was hard. The judges' scorecards were inconclusive, and C.J. Ross curiously had Steve Garvey listed as the victor. In the end, you'd have to give the edge to Van Slyke, via Los Angeles' Twitter account.
Scott Van Slyke, last man standing: pic.twitter.com/BpLhZpAgsG— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 19, 2013
After this epic staredown, the rest of the game seems anticlimactic. The energy and drama of those 12 minutes is hard to top.