Baseball IQ On A Billy
Gleyber Torres scoring from first on an infield single is the heads-up base-running play of the year
In April, New York Yankees fans suffered through some of the ugliest, least-fundamentally-sound baseball in franchise history, and no, that is not an exaggeration. They couldn't hit, couldn't field, and, perhaps most embarrassingly, made mind-numbing outs on the basepaths. The type of stuff they teach you not to do in Little League.
They've seemingly snapped out of it during this recent winning streak, though, shortstop Gleyber Torres specifically. No, Torres still hasn't begun to hit, but his fielding has turned around and on Thursday he may have locked up the award for base-running play of the year, if such an award existed.
In the bottom of the eighth, with the Yankees down 5-3 to the Houston Astros, Torres reached first on a single to right field. With lefty Aaron Hicks up next, the Astros infield shifted over to the right, leaving third base open. Hicks hit a bloop to the middle infield that Houston shortstop Carlos Correa was able to stop, but as he bobbled it, Torres turned and headed for the empty third base. He then had the presence of mind to turn and head for home, as Astros catcher Martin Maldonado went to cover third and left home plate open. Torres, miraculously, scored from first on an infield single:
Lot of season left, but we're not sure you'll see a better play on the basepaths in 2021. When's the last time somebody scored from first on a ball that didn't leave the infield dirt, with zero errors involved? We'll wait...
Unfortunately for Torres, Maldonado got the last laugh the next inning, launching a two-run shot to extend Houston's lead to 7-4 as the 'Stros look to avoid the dreaded sweep.