Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Why That Wasn't Bad Baserunning

Third inning: Ryan Spilborghs rips a ball into the leftcenter gap that ends up rolling to the wall.

Chris Iannetta walks home from third.

Ubaldo Jimenez races around second and gets the wave home from Rich Dauer. He makes the turn around third and races towards the plate. The ball is getting to the relay man and is about to come in towards the plate.

About this time Ryan Spilborghs reaches second and makes the turn towards third. This causes the throw to the plate to be cut off.

Ubaldo scores easily, Spilborghs is out at third.

This is not bad base running.

Why?  Because I think Spilly saw the same thing developing that I did.

An impending collision (or at least a play) at home plate involving the franchise pitcher. That's not something any of us wanted to see.

By making the turn to third, Spilborghs put the focus on himself, knowing he'd be out, but also knowing the run would score easily and the health of Ubaldo Jimenez is preserved.

There are definitely times when this practice is stupid. Times when the run will score without a play. Times when you get yourself tagged out before the run crosses the plate. This qualifies as a rare good time to make an out on the base paths.

Watch the play -- (Highlight)