Walk This Way
Every once in a while, you see something at the ballpark that you’ve never seen before. One of those moments came in the third inning on Thursday afternoon, when Marco Scutaro pulled something off that is usually reserved for the Little League playbook.
Scutaro drew a walk from Phillies starter Joe Blanton to open the inning — no big deal. He headed up the line, while Blanton caught the throw from the catcher and headed back to the mound. While running up the line, Scutaro could be seen surveying the field.
First, Scutaro checked Blanton, who had his head down. Then, the Jays’ shortstop looked at the positioning of shortstop Jimmy Rollins and second baseman Chase Utley — a pair of All-Stars. What Scutaro saw was an opportunity to sprint for second base.
Scutaro made it work, catching the whole ballpark off guard and stealing second base on a walk. Two batters later, Vernon Wells singled up the middle and Scutaro crossed home plate. It was a rare feat and manager Cito Gaston isn’t sure how long it’s been since he’s seen someone attempt it.
“Boy, I can’t remember, to be honest with you,” Gaston said. “He’s been playing just absolutely outstanding all year — just really heads-up baseball with a lot of things he does. His head’s in the game. He’s relaxed.”
Over the past two games against the Phillies, Scutaro reached base in nine of his 11 plate appearances. He had four singles, one double, four walks and four runs scored. Quite a response to going 0-for-6 on Friday night. Entering Thursday, Scutaro ranked fourth in the Majors with 124 times on base.
For those who might have missed it — shameless plug — I wrote a feature about Scutaro this past Monday. Catch you all from D.C.