Chess Match: Game 122


Snider821.jpgBreaking down a key moment in Saturday’s 5-4 loss to the Red Sox…

The situation: With the score caught in a 4-4 deadlock, Travis Snider opens the 10th inning with an infield single and he takes second base on an error on the play. Fred Lewis follows by hitting a hard grounder to Red Sox shortstop Marco Scutaro.

The decision: Snider sprints toward third base.

The outcome: Scutaro gloves the ground and quickly fires the ball to third baseman Adrian Beltre, catching Snider in a costly run down. Snider attempts to hustle back to second base, but he is easily thrown out on the play. One batter later, Yunel Escobar grounds into an inning-ending double play. Boston wins it in the 11th with a homer from Jed Lowrie. 

The analysis: At first glance, it’s hard to blame Snider for running to third base. The ball was hit to his left and, as we were all taught in Little League, you run on that type of play. This was a slightly different case, though.

Scutaro was playing behind Snider at second base, trying to hold him as close to the base as possible, considering Beltre was protecting against a potential bunt down the third-base line. The ball was also hit hard by Lewis, giving Scutaro plenty of time to get the ball quickly and retire Snider at third base.

The comments:

“You hold on that ball. You don’t go there. He’s the potential winning run. You want to get three shots at it. He just made a mistake. I know he feels as bas as anyone else here tonight. Hopefully he learns from it.” — Gaston

“I take full responsibility for what happened in that inning. … I was too aggressive. It was a mistake on my part, not being aware of where Scutaro was playing and understanding that’s not a ball you can advance on, especially as well as Freddy hit that. It’s something to put in the memory bank and learn from and hopefully I’ll build off of it.” — Snider

My verdict: Again, at first, it was hard to fault Snider for what essentially is a reactionary decision — one made with only a split second to choose between retreating and advancing. After talking the play over with Gaston, Snider and third base coach Brian Butterfield after the game, it became clear that Snider should have immediately sprinted back to second base, and not to third.

–JB

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6 Comments

I think it’s safe to say that Snider will be riding pine the next game after that, it’s tough watching Snider grow and trying to learn. I just hope it will be all worth it in the long run, he just seems to have so many holes in his game right now.

There’s that, but I think the other key moment was Overbay not running hard on Johnny Mac’s hit when there was already 2 out. He pretty much jogged until he realized it wasn’t caught. J-Mac was almost to 3rd when the play at the plate happened. That should have been a triple with 2 RBIs.

Cito doesn’t sit guys down for making a mistake. We sometimes forget that he’s only 22, an age when many kids are still wondering what they are going to do with their lives. He’s got a lot to learn, but he has a long time to learn it, too.

I agree with seeleygirl, the key moment was Overbay getting called out at home..Not sure who’s to blame, Overbay for not running hard or Butter for sending him…Dice-K was on the hook, had just walked two hitters and starting to unravel.. That play let him off the hook and changed game momentum..

Last night, I thought that Snider might have been tagged out by Scutaro if he’d gone back to second, and thus been the front end of a DP. I guess it depends on how quickly he started back to second.

Today, the TV guys just said that Snider was out either way. IE out if he went back to second or ahead to third.

Steve

Couldn’t one argue that Lewis shouldn’t have been swinging anyways? Bunt and move him to third – then sac fly.

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