One of the most routine events in a game led to chaos and a surprise pickoff, unfortunately for two Blue Jays
"Four balls, take your base!" is what I always assume the home-plate umpire tells the batter if he draws four balls, earning a "free pass" to first base.
It requires four of those non-strike pitches to qualify for a walk, but sometimes there's confusion at the plate. There was definitely some of that confusion at the plate in the sixth inning of Monday's Blue Jays-Twins game at Target Field, and it led to some chaos of the head-scratching kind.
You guys know that saying "you see something new at the ballpark everyday"?— Cut4 (@Cut4) April 16, 2019
This is that something new... pic.twitter.com/mLdhQQdQrn
That's gotta feel rough. But, thanks to the forgiving nature of baseball, this wasn't the only noteworthy part of Hernandez's night. In the eighth inning, he stepped up and hit a game-changing three-run homer, giving Toronto a 5-3 lead and effectively sealing the deal for the game -- and, by extension, redeeming himself in grand fashion.
As for that pickoff play, Perez told MLB.com's Do-Hyoung Park that he wasn't sure what, exactly, was going on:
“I was surprised. I saw the count and when I saw him walk to first, (Willians) Astudillo told me hey throw to first and we get the out. Big out right there. Astudillo did a great job in telling me to throw to first. I was confused at that time but we had a chance to get out of the inning quick.”
First baseman C.J. Cron, meanwhile, could sense that an opportunity for an unconventional out was there for the taking:
"I actually heard it from the dugout," Cron said. "I thought the count was 2-2 when he took that pitch but he was jogging to first pretty confidently. I thought maybe I misread the count. Then the dugout started screaming. I tried to tap my glove to get Pérez’s attention but he was already on it and threw the ball to me. I was holding the runner on and was already in position so I didn’t really do much there. I thought it was 2-2 but I’ve been wrong before so I wouldn’t be shocked. I felt bad for the base runner because a lot of us would have done the same thing. It is what it is and I’m glad we got the out there."
Adrian Garro joined MLB.com in 2016. Throughout his travels, both Bartolo Colon and Vin Scully have placed their hands on his shoulders. Not at the same time, though. That'd be amazing.