Saturday, May 24, 2008

Game 51: Jacoby Ellsbury Is One Fast Mofo

Final Score: Boston Red Sox 3, Oakland Athletics 8

I made a decision at the start of this year that I was going to stop writing straight game recaps when I posted, and focus instead on some intriguing aspect of the game past that I felt I could expound upon at length. Save the game recaps for the mainstream media publications, who have all of the same facts, or for Robin, who makes them funny; I'm going for the more esoteric approach.

That means I won't be talking about the major aspects of tonights blowout; the parts that describe, in gory detail, how bad of a mauling the Athletics dealt, once again, to our beloved team, making me feel like early April had returned and everyone was still on jet lag shell shock. Not too surprisingly, really; before today, Wakefield gave up about 50 runs in about 80 innings when pitching in Oakland. Anyway, if you want to read about all of that - Wakefield's meltdown, Pedroia's home run, etc. - the recap's right here.

I'm more concerned with a footnote in today's stat line: CS: Ellsbury (2, 2nd base by Devine/Suzuki), which represents Ellsbury's second caught stealing in twenty-one tries in 2008. Not a particularly unique or even cheery piece of information, but here's what I find so fascinating about it: Ellsbury is so fast, he ran himself into a throwout. The line should read: CS: Ellsbury (2, 2nd base by Ellsbury). Suzuki and Devine? They just got lucky. Here's how it went down:

It's the top of the seventh, and the Sox have yet another sucker's rally running. Ellsbury's on first after an RBI single that scored Lugo, with Pedroia at the plate. Next pitch, Ellsbury goes, tearing off towards second like he's got winged feet. The throw is miles behind him; he's going so fast he could run back to first and do the whole trip over again with time to spare. In fact, he's going so damn fast, when he slides, he slides right past the base. A quick flip back with his trailing hand to try and keep contact before the tag, but there's a gap and Crosby gets him for the putout. Caught stealing, 1-2-6. And all because Jacoby Ellsbury is like uncontrolled lightening; one fast, fast mofo.