Francisco Cervelli tried to deke out the runners or didn't know he had the ball in his glove
In addition to being one of baseball's snazziest dressers, Francisco Cervelli is also quite the pitch-framer, ranking fourth in the Majors in extra strikes picked up.
As the Pirates took on the Cubs on Wednesday night, Cervelli may have taken his behind-the-dish trickery to a new high ... we think.
With runners on the corners in the top of the third inning, A.J. Burnett threw a breaking ball in the dirt which Cervelli used some excellent blocking skills to not only keep in front of him, but to snag it, as well. But Cervelli, thinking ahead and trying to deke the runners off base, pretended to search for the ball. Either that or he pulled the "Where are my keys! Where are my keys! Oh, they're in my hands. Whoops."
Unfortunatley, Cervelli's hoodwinkery didn't work and the runners stayed put. Oddly enough, after Chris Coghlan struck out, Burnett threw an actual wild pitch to Anthony Rizzo. Though Kyle Schwarber took off for second, Dexter Fowler stayed on third, perhaps just not sure if this was another trick being played by the catcher.
Burnett would eventually get Rizzo to fly out, keeping the runs off the board -- perhaps all thanks to the "Oh no, where are my sunglasses!" work of Cervelli. We can only hope this inspires him to soon bust out the slap-the-forehead-and-turn-around "I left my phone" move and the "Oh, hang on, I need to write this down and I forgot a pen!" leg slaps.
The fans will surely appreciate the effort, even if they're not as successful as tonight's move.