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There Is No Making Sense Of Matt Holliday's Bizarre Base Running Blunder

There Is No Making Sense Of Matt Holliday's Bizarre Base Running Blunder
From Deadspin - July 16, 2017

You know when you zone out at a stoplight, and then you suddenly sense traffic moving around you, and so you accelerate a little too quickly, but it turns out you dont have a green light, its the turn lane next to you that has a green arrow, and so you have to stomp the brakes like as**thead, but now youre like eight yards out into the intersection and everyone in every direction is looking at you? That was Matt Holliday on first base in the top of the 11th last night.

One way of getting yourself allf**ked up thinking about the bizarre sequence that led to the Red Sox playing out the remainder of last nights loss under protest is to start with what Holliday had to say about it, and work backwards from there. Holliday is quoted by ESPN as having said I wasnt going to run into a tag. Heres the play:

Okay. So. Holliday worked a four-pitch walk from Red Sox reliever Heath Hembree to open the top of the 11th. Six pitches later, with Holliday still on first, Jacoby Ellsbury slapped a chopper toward first base, where it was fielded cleanly a couple yards in front of the bag by Red Sox first-baseman Mitch Moreland. A double-play ball! With a clean throw to second, Holliday is out. This was a matter of procedure. In this instance, as with all tailor-made double play grounders in the post-takeout-slide era, the runner on first ceases to be a participant in the play, and becomes a data point. This is the nature of force outs.

Except! In this instance, Matt Holliday, umm, wasnt going to run into a tag. Leaving aside that, in this instance, Matt Holliday definitely wasnt going to run into a tag in either direction, the only circumstance in which a tag would be a consideration would be one in which the Red Sox had the reverse force double play, where the first baseman forces out the batter at first before making a throw to second, thereby removing the force out at second, and necessitating a tag. Since the ball was, after all, hit to first, maybe Holliday thought the reverse force was on?

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