Rob Refsnyder scored the game-winning run for the Blue Jays with a fantastic sneaky slide
One of the newest Blue Jays ended up making the biggest contribution during their 4-3 extra-innings victory over the Astros on Saturday night. Rob Refsnyder came over to Toronto from the Yankees in a July 23 trade, and he entered Saturday's game as a pinch-hitter in the top of the 10th inning.
Facing former Blue Jay Francisco Liriano, Refsnyder worked a walk and then stole second base. Then, Ryan Goins singled through the left side. Refsnyder raced around third on the hard-hit ball, but thanks to a good throw from Astros left fielder Derek Fisher, it looked like Brian McCann would be able to tag him out.
Refsnyder's manager, John Gibbons, called it the play of the game, and for good reason.
With a nifty slide around McCann's tag, Refsnyder snuck his hand onto home plate for the go-ahead run. "I knew it was going to be close," he said to MLB.com's Christian Boutwell. "I was just trying to time it up, hopefully he was going to make his tag and just tried to avoid it."
Starter Marco Estrada had thrown seven innings of three-run ball, and he was happy to see Refsnyder sneak home with the eventual game-winner. "It was awesome. At first, I thought he was going to be out because of the way McCann dove in there," he said. "Luckily, the throw was a little bit off and Rob got his hand in there somehow. ... It was a pretty impressive slide."
That's the kind of impressive dexterity once displayed by Astros playoff hero Chris Burke in the ninth inning of Game 2 in the 2005 World Series.
Just like Refsnyder, Burke was able to beat a good throw to the plate in a high-stakes situation with a subtle one-handed slide. This time, the Astros weren't quite so lucky.