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Wednesday, August 03, 2011

MLB.com: Ryan’s Hustle Leads to Unique Basepath Jaunt

The rare “infield triple”:

Ryan beat out a grounder to shortstop Eric Sogard and was behind first baseman Conor Jackson as Jackson held the ball while facing the pitching mound. When Ryan saw no one covering second, with Jemile Weeks having gone over to back up first base, he took off and slid in safely at second without even drawing a throw.

Ryan then popped up and headed for third, seeing third baseman Scott Sizemore had run over toward second and no one was near the bag at third, either, as Jackson continued holding the ball with no one to throw it to. Thus Ryan wound up with what essentially was an “infield triple,” though the official scoring on the play was a single, with the runner advancing to third on a fielder’s choice.

Video at the link.

The Yankee Clapper Posted: August 03, 2011 at 05:33 PM | 35 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: amateur, athletics, game recaps, mariners

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   1. Eric P. Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:06 PM (#3891896)
Wow. Eat your heart out, Johnny Damon.
   2. Shredder Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:13 PM (#3891902)
Was this the same game as the "fake Ichiro" game? What a weird game.

But if you're Harden, you really need to be paying attention. If you see a base where no one is standing, jog over there and cover it. I expect people to make those kinds of mistakes in softball leagues in which I play. I don't expect to see them in the majors. They need those little arrows that tell you where to run like in MLB: The Show.
   3. Non-Youkilidian Geometry Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:16 PM (#3891906)
Wow, indeed. I've never seen that happen before.
   4. rr Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:23 PM (#3891914)
This was cool. Watched the video at MLB.com last night. Good teaching tool for little league etc.
   5. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:32 PM (#3891921)
It appears the A's have identified the new market inefficiency - covering bases.
   6. Basil Ganglia Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:37 PM (#3891925)
Was this the same game as the "fake Ichiro" game? What a weird game.

But if you're Harden, you really need to be paying attention. If you see a base where no one is standing, jog over there and cover it. I expect people to make those kinds of mistakes in softball leagues in which I play. I don't expect to see them in the majors. They need those little arrows that tell you where to run like in MLB: The Show.

Yes, it was the same game. And to add to the overall weirdness of the game, Kurt Suzuki struck out on a HBP - with the bases loaded and the As down two runs.

****

re Ryan's scamper, it's not the first time he's done something like that. He's aware of the possibility of the exact situation occurring, so he looks for it and takes advantage of it.

I think the defense on the play is straightforward. On a grounder in the hole the third basemen should be moving to his left to play the ball. If it gets past him, the SS will be making a play deep in the hole with his momentum carrying him away from second base. With second base open, the second baseman will be backing up first base, so the third baseman simply needs to continue on to second base to cover the empty base instead of stopping short and watching the play or retreating toward third. After making the play in the hole, the SS can easily cover third.

Stuff like this happens when players think they're out of the play and turn into spectators instead of thinking ahead toward the possibilities. When I played my little league ball as an OF I was coached to always to keep thinking of where I might be able to help out in the infield, so I often found myself coming in from right field to back up on throws across the diamond to first base and occasionally I wound up covering second base when I noticed that the infielders had left the base open. One season as RF I even got two put outs at second base on situations where I wound up covering the base.
   7. vortex of dissipation Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:39 PM (#3891927)
Pity that the play had to be scored a single and two fielder's choices. It would be nice if Ryan got some statistical credit for his heads-up play.
   8. Squash Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:46 PM (#3891932)
Nothing has gone right for the A's since Thomas hit that second home run off Santana in 2006.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:52 PM (#3891937)
Pity that the play had to be scored a single and two fielder's choices. It would be nice if Ryan got some statistical credit for his heads-up play.


I believe they should be scored as stolen bases.
   10. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:56 PM (#3891939)
Billy Beane should never have been covering second (and he wasn't)
   11. Greg K Posted: August 03, 2011 at 06:56 PM (#3891940)
Pity that the play had to be scored a single and two fielder's choices. It would be nice if Ryan got some statistical credit for his heads-up play.

What I'm curious about is what is the choice the fielder made. It was my understanding a fielder's choice was the choice to get the runner out rather than the hitter.

This is just the fielder choosing to...not get the runner out?

If anything you might be able to call it fielder's indifference, as everyone other than Connor Jackson appeared to be fairly indifferent.
   12. phredbird Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3891948)
geez i wish he was still with the cardinals. that was great to watch.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:05 PM (#3891949)
You could also use the "team error" that people have been asking for for years.
   14. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:13 PM (#3891959)
What I'm curious about is what is the choice the fielder made. It was my understanding a fielder's choice was the choice to get the runner out rather than the hitter.

This is just the fielder choosing to...not get the runner out?

If anything you might be able to call it fielder's indifference, as everyone other than Connor Jackson appeared to be fairly indifferent.
A baserunner advancing because of the defense's indifference is defined in the rules as a fielder's choice.
   15. Austin Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:19 PM (#3891965)
This play reminds me of Marco Scutaro's steal of second on a walk back in 2009. I think Scutaro's is even cooler than Ryan's, although it does seem more "Little League."

http://mlb.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=5111035
   16. Walt Davis Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:20 PM (#3891969)
That's what you have to love about Ryan. He does all those intangible, little things, the stuff that doesn't show up in the box score ... errr, well not in the little tiny box score anyway.

Did the A's hire a former Cub infield coach or something? I've seen guys advance one base because nobody was covering or paying attention but two?
   17. Shredder Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:28 PM (#3891979)
Kind of reminds me of when you see a guy steal second against the shift, then head to third because no one is covering. Not sure how often that happens, but I think Jeter did it against the Angels in the 2002 ALDS when the Angels were employing the shift against Giambi. Like Basil implied, the initial play is so routine that everyone just assumes that when it's over, it's over. Sometimes the runner doesn't agree.
   18. bumpis hound Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:35 PM (#3891987)
Digging the "amateur" tag.
   19. Greg K Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:36 PM (#3891988)
A baserunner advancing because of the defense's indifference is defined in the rules as a fielder's choice.

Really? I didn't know that. Never stop learning about baseball.
   20. A triple short of the cycle Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:42 PM (#3891996)
As an A's fan, I am embarrassed. Not as embarrassed as I was after the epic baserunning blunders against the Red Sox in 2002, which caused me to temporarily renounce my fanship... but still this is weak.

Like Basil says, the third baseman Sizemore should have covered second, with the shortstop Sogard covering third. Like Shredder says, failing that, the pitcher Harden should have helped out. All three of those guys botched the play.

Kudos to Ryan for the heads-up baserunning.

EDIT: er, 2003
   21. SoSH U at work Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:48 PM (#3892002)
If Damon's scamper to third in the 2009 World Series was scored a stolen base, which it was, I don't see how this one should be scored differently. The situations were identical in every meaningful way - with the ball in the infield, a baserunner took an extra base because the defense was out of position.

It wasn't a choice to let him take the extra bases. They weren't indifferent to it. They were simply beaten by an alert baserunner.
   22. zack Posted: August 03, 2011 at 07:55 PM (#3892007)
So who's responsibility is 2nd base in this scenario, the 3Bman or the pitcher?
   23. PreservedFish Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:20 PM (#3892031)
It ought to be scored a stolen base just to give the guy some credit.

Supposing Ryan took second in the same circumstances (nobody covering) between pitches, would that be considered a SB or FC?
   24. PepTech Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:36 PM (#3892051)
After sprinting to third:

"Then I almost died, but I didn't. So I got back up and I looked at home and I saw [catcher Kurt] Suzuki flying home, and dang, too bad he couldn't trip and fall or something. I don't know if I would have made it, but it would have been pretty fun to crawl home and score on that."


Ryan > Jack Wilson any day.
   25. Mash Wilson Posted: August 03, 2011 at 08:44 PM (#3892058)
zack: both. Third baseman first.
   26. Drew (Primakov, Gungho Iguanas) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 09:00 PM (#3892067)
At the Red Sox game yesterday, there was a popup in the 9th. Papelbon just stood near the mound looking at it, Pedroia converged along with Gonzalez, and Gonzalez made the catch. But none of the three bothered with first base. So Varitek, old fart and (of course) in full catching gear, sprinted from home plate to reach first just after the ball was caught.

Declining skills, sure, but the guy plays right.
   27. Ron J Posted: August 03, 2011 at 09:34 PM (#3892100)
#11 Or as Bill James put it in his Official Scorer's Quiz you could opt for "Guilty but insane"
   28. Bourbon Samurai Posted: August 03, 2011 at 09:41 PM (#3892112)
Perfectly indicative of this season in Oakland. Christ.
   29. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: August 03, 2011 at 09:45 PM (#3892118)
Kind of reminds me of when you see a guy steal second against the shift, then head to third because no one is covering. Not sure how often that happens, but I think Jeter did it against the Angels in the 2002 ALDS when the Angels were employing the shift against Giambi. Like Basil implied, the initial play is so routine that everyone just assumes that when it's over, it's over. Sometimes the runner doesn't agree.


Similar to a runner on 2nd scoring on a WP or PB. Once the ball has gone far enough the catcher and pitcher give up the first base and assume that is the end of it.
   30. Hugh Jorgan Posted: August 03, 2011 at 11:12 PM (#3892197)
And still, after watching baseball for 40 years, you get to see something you haven't seen before. Just a fun play to watch over and over.
   31. willcarrolldoesnotsuk Posted: August 03, 2011 at 11:21 PM (#3892205)
"Indifference" is a horrible ruling. They were quite obviously not indifferent. In fact, they were actually the opposite - they were obviously trying.

The first baseman was trying: he was in the motions of throwing, but stopped when it became clear that none of his teammates would get to second in time. And they were trying to get to second - they were not indifferent either. And even when he went for third, at least two defenders tried to get there before him.

They were not at all "indifferent". They were just incompetent. This should be a triple.
   32. catomi01 Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:51 AM (#3892260)
watching this a couple of times, I think the main blame should fall on the 3rd baseman and LF. 3B should have been at 2nd quickly after it became clear they werent going to get Ryan...and the left fielder, already moving in that direction to field the ball if it gets through should have at least been in the neighborhood of third base by the time ryan gets to second.
   33. charityslave is thinking about baseball Posted: August 04, 2011 at 12:55 AM (#3892261)
willcarrollsux is right. "Indifferent" in an imprecise term that is overly narrow. But it's not exactly and error, either, in that there was no bad throw or missed catch. I like the term "team brain fart" or perhaps an acronym like WTHATD?!?C. (WHAT THE HELL ARE THEY DOING?!? CHRIST.)
   34. The kids disappeared, now Der-K has too much candy Posted: August 04, 2011 at 04:20 AM (#3892391)
Had it been the two extra bases not been rules fielder's indifference ... would it have been the first recorded infield triple?
   35. Ron J Posted: August 05, 2011 at 11:56 AM (#3893257)
#34 Doubt it. Alfredo Griffin in certain moods ran until tagged out, and he's far from the first to play that way.

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