Catcher Meme #9
Run Them Back
One of the things I see on a regular basis is catchers getting rid of the ball too quickly when a runner headed for home puts on the breaks and retreats to 3B. Very often the catcher is in a rush to get the ball to the third baseman and causes the runner to abandon their route to 3B and head back home, a lot of time resulting in a run being scored.
The thing to remember is that the run is way more important than the out in these situations. Always run the runner back in the direction of 3B. This will give our pitcher enough time to cover home behind us, make the throw shorter and easier for the catcher and will force the runner to commit to a direction away from the plate.
When you are sure the runner has no choice but to commit to sliding into 3B, present the ball to your infielder and make a short throw to record the out. It is important to make sure that, above all else, this short throw is accurate. Because even if the out is not made, the runner did not score.
Washington Nationals' catcher Jhonatan Solano did a fantastic job forcing the runner away from home plate and back towards 3B. Because of how fundamentally sound this play was made, Solano was able to get the ball to Ryan Zimmerman in time to make the tag and record the out.