Cardinals Run Down Play 4-30-13

The situation had the Red player Brandon Phillips on first base. Cardinal left handed pitcher Jaime Garcia threw over to first and had Phillips picked off. Phillips took off for second base and the Cardinal first baseman threw the ball to shortstop Pete Kozma. This is when it becomes a mess! The ball was thrown all over the place and it looked like 10 year olds were playing the game!

Kozma ran the runner toward first base but threw the ball way too early. The first baseman received the ball and ran the runner towards second and threw it again to Kozma. He starts to run the base runner towards first and throws the ball early again. The throw was pushed and only went a couple of feet. After this was all over Phillips was out at second base.

I played shortstop and second base and this situation would arise from time to time. This is a simple play and it amazes me how it just gets screwed up all the time. I would literally yell for the ball and get the runner out fast by tagging him or forcing him to be committed to the previous bag and then I would throw him out.

Here is an example of what needs to be done. The pitcher picks off the runner at first, the runner bolts to second base. Our first baseman throws to the shortstop, and he receives the ball. The shortstop takes off fast, holding the ball in his right hand and once the runner is square to the base and about 20-25 feet from the bag and committed, you make one throw and he is out.  The fielder can make a fake throw but only once, if you do it repeatedly, the receiving fielder can be faked out and miss the ball.  There are a lot of times the runner can be run down and the ball not even thrown.

The runner always has to be run to the bag he came from.  My 12-13 year olds knew what to do and I still see this simple play being done wrong by major leaguers! I would literally yell run him and the players knew what to do.

Bob Brown