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Yelich hung out to dry by Desmond's deke

First baseman applies fake tag after liner glances off mitt, gifting Rox huge out
October 4, 2018

MILWAUKEE -- Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond used quick thinking and gamesmanship to gain an out during the sixth inning of the Rockies' 10-inning, 3-2 loss to the Brewers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Thursday afternoon.The Brewers led, 2-0, when Christian Yelich -- whose third-inning

MILWAUKEE -- Rockies first baseman Ian Desmond used quick thinking and gamesmanship to gain an out during the sixth inning of the Rockies' 10-inning, 3-2 loss to the Brewers in Game 1 of the National League Division Series on Thursday afternoon.
The Brewers led, 2-0, when Christian Yelich -- whose third-inning homer gave Milwaukee the lead -- singled to open the sixth. Ryan Braun followed with a hard liner off the top of the glove of the leaping Desmond.
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Yelich froze and moved back toward first, clearly unsure whether Desmond had caught the ball. Braun, running down the line, saw it all and was yelling at Yelich, to no avail. Desmond played it perfectly, applying a "tag" to Yelich. But right fielder Carlos Gonzalez actually had the ball, and he threw to shortstop Trevor Story at second for the easy forceout.
"That was a crazy play right there," Yelich said. "Myself and the first-base coach, we both thought he caught it. It sounded like he caught it. I saw the ball go in his glove, and then it didn't happen, and he did a great job by holding the tag on me like he did catch it. He was able to deke me. It's one of those freak plays. It's unfortunate, but thankfully it didn't cost us."
"We've been working on that play -- when I hit a line drive to right, Yeli runs back to the dugout," Braun joked. "It's a weird play, I don't know if anyone has seen that."
Television cameras caught Braun yelling toward Yelich. Braun's explanation? It's an intense time.
"Emotions run high in games like this," Braun said. "Anybody would be frustrated in that situation. In a 2-0 game, every run is of the utmost importance. … Obviously, I saw the play unfold in front of me, but for [first-base coach] Carlos [Subero] and Yeli, it was tough to see what was happening in the moment."

When teams scout the Rockies, they warn that Desmond always seeks an edge. He'll fake a return throw to the pitcher after pickoff moves. And when he has to tag, it's often hard enough to possibly force the runner off the bag if his hand or foot isn't solidly planted.

Thomas Harding has covered the Rockies since 2000, and for MLB.com since 2002. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb, listen to podcasts and like his Facebook page.