Don't Think Just Throw
While watching the Twins vs. Indians game today, there was a play I thought deserved to be the first instructional meme of the year.
With one out in the 3rd inning, runners on 1B and 3B and our friend Chris Colabello at the plate, Chris topped a pretty nasty Justin Masterson sinker straight into the ground in front of Indians' catcher Yan Gomes.
Gomes hustled out in front of home plate and quickly fielded the ball. Knowing that if he had any chance of turning a double play, he had to immediately throw the ball to 2B. One problem, though, neither of the infielders covered the bag, the throw sailed straight through to the OF and the run scored.
This is something I see a ton of every year. At All levels. And it is often one of the situations where a catcher will take some heat from a coach for letting the ball go without any fielder there to catch it.
Catchers, DON'T THINK, JUST THROW! While there is definitely something to be said for playing the game smart, it is important that we realize it is NOT our job to wait for the infielders to get to the bag. It is our job to make the read and make the decision to throw to 2B or throw to 1B.
In this case, Gomes was absolutely right in his read. He saw an opportunity to get out of the inning right there and then, and you know what? The ball beat the runner to the bag and it should have been a double play. The Indians' infielders can be seen casually making their way to the bag, with SS Mike Aviles even going as far as almost coming to a complete stop 10 feet before the bag.
Unfortunately, despite the infielder's mistake, this error will be credited to Gomes, but I GUARANTEE you that Gomes would tell you that he would make that exact same throw if given the opportunity to do it over. It was the right read, right decision and the right throw. Unfortunately for the Indians, it was the wrong result.