Thursday, May 26, 2011

Problem spot: Rundowns after pickoffs

Finally, Alexi Casilla makes the tag.
It didn't cost them Wednesday's game — it didn't even cost an out, much less a run.

But the Twins infield still managed to embarrass itself trying to get a runner out after picking him off first base.

File this under "doing the little things wrong — repeatedly."

Wednesday's play came in the ninth inning, when Dusty Hughes picked off Franklin Gutierrez. The play was scored 1-3-4-3-6-4. That's at least two throws too many for that play, and it represented at least the fourth time the Twins have had difficulty executing a rundown between first and second base. At least this time they got the runner out.

I saw a similar screwed-up rundown during my spring training sojourn.  That one featured a collection of minor leaguers until Matt Tolbert got the ball and ran down the runner himself. I figured than that the next morning would feature the rundown until everybody in camp would have dreams about the play the following night. That would fix it.

It instead presaged one of the more irritating trends of the Twins season. It's basic stuff, and the infield is bollixing it on a regular basis.

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