From day 1 of Little League baseball your coach tells you to run everything out. Pop-ups, grounders, any contact with two outs, etc. It's sad that the basic act of "hustling" is seen as "old school" now, but if you hustle good things could happen, like an error or a wild throw. Los Angeles Angels first baseman Justin Bour did not live by the hustle mantra on Friday night, and his team paid the price against the Seattle Mariners.
In the bottom of the eighth, with a runner on first and only one out, Bour stepped to the plate against lefty reliever Zac Rosscup. The southpaw quickly got Bour in an 0-2 hole, then got him to hit a high pop-up to second base that appeared to be the second out of the inning. But second baseman Dee Gordon had a much better idea, and third baseman Ryon Healy trusted Gordon enough to turn the ugliest, yet smartest double play of the MLB season so far. We'll explain:
Obviously, this is not as pretty and clean as a 4-6-3 double play, but is is by far the smartest turned double play you can possibly turn. While it looks like Gordon and Healy (who was on that side of the field because of the shift) confused each other, if you pay close attention you'll notice that Gordon is yelling at Healy to let the ball drop. That's because Gordon saw that after Bour had popped it up, he didn't even bother running to first base, instead turning and walking toward the dugout in disgust. See Bour at the bottom of the screen turning toward the dugout but still looking to watch his out get recorded:
Gordon picked up on this and got Healy to let the ball drop, and because it was a pop-up, Angels pinch runner Brian Goodwin had to run back to first base. But by allowing the ball to drop, that set up a force out at second, plus the force out at first since Bour didn't run down the line. Dee Gordon's baseball IQ is off the charts.
Gordon's not the first second baseman to make a similar, heady play like this. Three years ago, former Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler purposely let a fly ball drop so that he could get a force at second, which would get the faster runner Colby Rasmus, who was at first, off the base paths.
Unlike Bour, Tyler White did run it out, so Kinsler couldn't turn a double play. But it was still a smart play to get the slower guy at first. Pure baseball IQ porn. We doubt Bour will never not run one out again, because that's as embarrassing as it gets. Reminds me of the hustle of Mark Teixeira back in 2012 (this is just an excuse to post this video. Sorry Mets fans):
If Luis Castillo taught us anything, it's that you always run everything out no matter what.