Billy Hamilton and Jason Heyward both hustled to score from first base when they probably shouldn't have
In the course of a baseball game, runs come in all different forms -- from dingers to bases-loaded walks. When the Cubs hosted the Reds on Sunday, two runs came as the result of pure hustle (and some suspect defense, if we're being fair).
It started in the fifth inning when
YOU BLEW IT! pic.twitter.com/hb4ZYQ4daQ— MLB (@MLB) July 8, 2018
Hamilton talked to MLB.com's Mark Sheldon about the play postgame:
"In my head, I was just thinking second base. The ball ended up going into center field. It's just something that I love being aggressive. Got to third. I just saw the ball laying on the ground so I was just thinking, 'If he has to bend down, pick the ball up and then make a perfect throw, I'm going to take that chance.' Two outs and a couple strikes on Jose, so it was just to a point where I was like, 'OK, I'm going to take that chance.' Even if I would've got out in that situation, it was one of those plays that I couldn't be mad at myself about for wanting to be in that position, wanting to take that chance. It's hard to explain because you never see it happen. Hatcher helped me out a little bit but in that situation, you can't really depend on the third-base coach because you're already got your momentum and already thinking in your head what possibilities could happen. He was waving me, but I don't see that play happen a lot."
The idea of hustling to score from first base proved to be contagious. Two innings later,
The Cubs right fielder talked to MLB.com correspodent Matthew Martel.
"If there's ever a lax in the defense, which doesn't happen often. If that ever happens, then you try and take advantage of it. I was telling Zobrist that it's hard to get two hits with two outs, especially in the same inning. So, right there, I was looking for any opportunity I had. I think it was just a timing thing. Billy gets to the ball quicker than anybody in the game. It just worked out for my timing getting to third and him throwing it in, in his head, that was OK. He didn't do anything wrong necessarily, it was just a hustle play."
Sometimes you have to make your own luck. Both Hamilton and Heyward were able to score from first not because they had any business scoring in those situations, but because, when you take a risk, there's usually some chance of success.