A towering fly ball looking like an easy out arouses a memory in the batter’s brain. “Run it out. Get on your horse. Stop knowing so much.” It’s his first little league coach.
That ball may seem destined for a mitt, but run anyway. That unwritten rule was lodged in our young baseball minds. We were told to always exercise intent. The wind may change direction or hit a ring fastened to the Tropicana Dome.
Logan Forsythe hit a fly ball into shallow right field Monday night. It was the bottom of the fifth; the Brewers leading the Rays 1-0. In comes Braun from his right field post. Out goes Mark Reynolds from first base.
Braun slides and misses. The ball drops and bounces and rolls. Reynolds sprints; slides, retrieves the spheroid and throws a one hopper to Segura around second base. Reynolds does this all in one motion. Segura barehands the ball, turns and throws a strike to Aramis Ramirez at third base who applies the tag for the first out of the inning.
It was a gorgeous principle of baseball faith; the perfectly executed relay throw; a mirror to the hustle of Forsyth racing around the bases and both deeds living along side the sweat and toil of a 10 pitch at bat in the romantic ballad “how baseball gives me goose bumps.”
Forsythe lived up to his name; to predict the future, to run like his pants were on fire, make something out of nothing; turn an easy out or texas leaguer single into a triple. Brewers TV color man Bill Shroeder reminded kids watching at home to never make the first out of an inning at third base.
But hard to knock Forsythe’s intent and effort because only a pinball perfection relay would gun him down and even that would probably fall short, but Segura barehanded the throw from Reynolds and eliminated the precious seconds lost during a transfer from glove hand to throwing hand….And Forsythe was OUT!.
Unfortunately, the Brewers only scored one run on Reynolds’ team leading 18th home run. Meanwhile, The Rays hit a number of deep fly balls off Brewers starter Kyle Lohse, but it was a bloop single by James Loney that produced their only two runs and it didn’t have to happen.
Two outs and two strikes on Evan Longoria; bottom of the 6th.. Lohse hits the corner with an inside fastball. Longoria kicks some dirt; surrendering to called out on strikes defeat. The home plate umpire lifts his arm; ready to punch out Longoria, but then nothing….no call., a walk, bases loaded, setting the stage for Loney’s go ahead blooper. Final Socre; Rays 2, Brewers 1.
Somewhere inside Brewer manager Ron Roenicke’s serious mind he sits in his underwear chewing beef jerky; talking loose and free. “I guess we better score more than one run from now on so these umpire decisions don’t slip into our sleep.”
The Brewers are 59-48 and have scored one run over the last 18 innings.