Results tagged ‘ Brandon HIcks ’
Saturday night’s Gwinnett-Norfolk game was suspended by rain after the first inning, and completed on Sunday night. Norfolk ended up winning the game, 6-5 in ten innings, on a controversial home run by catcher Adam Donachie. However, Gwinnett had two legitimate chances to score runs in the first nine innings, which would have made the extra innings unnecessary. However, I would not attribute either missed chance to bad baserunning; the first was the result of an outstanding defensive play and the second was simply a bad coaching decision.
In the 4th inning, with the game tied 1-1, Gwinnett loaded the bases with one out. Stefan Gartrell and Brandon Hicks walked and Ruben Gotay singled. Diory Hernandez hit a fly to fairly deep center field. Usually, this would be a routine sacrifice fly. Gartrell tagged up and went to home plate. While Gartrell isn’t as old as Ramon Castro or as bulky as Prince Fielder, he’s not an eager kid like Kyle Hudson and he’s filled out quite a bit. So, even if Gartrell weren’t trotting home, he wasn’t sprinting and consequently not moving very fast. And Brandon Hicks tagged up from second and tried to advance to third base. Center fielder Matt Angle had no shot at throwing out Gartrell, even with his relative lack of speed, so he threw to third to try to put Hicks out. And Angle made an outstanding throw; third baseman Brendan Harris applied the tag and Hicks was plainly out. Immediately, the home plate umpire turned to the press box and vigorously waved his arms, telling us that no run scored because Hicks was put out before Gartrell touched home plate. While Gartrell might have hustled a little bit more; or Hicks might not have tried to advance; or Hicks, realizing he would be put out, might have tried to delay the inevitable long enough, the real reason the run didn’t score was Angle’s outstanding throw.
In the ninth inning, with the Tides leading 5-3, closer Jeremy Accardo came in to pitch. With one out and J.C. Boscan on first, Accardo walked Tyler Pastornicky and Matt Young to load the bases. After Gartrell lined to short, Mauro Gomez hit a hard line drive off the left-field wall. Kyle Hudson played the ball of the wall and quickly threw to shortstop Carlos Rojas. Boscan scored from third and Pastornicky from second, tying the game. Although the ball was hit very hard and Hudson played it well, manager Dave Brundage, coaching third, told Young to try to score. Rojas had the ball almost as soon as Young reached third, and he easily threw Young out at the plate.
Gwinnett did lose the game in extra innings, so it is true that had Hicks not tried to take third in the fourth inning, Gwinnett would have won the game. And if Young had held at third, Gwinnett might have won the game in the ninth inning. But I wouldn’t classify Hicks’ decision as bad baserunning; it was a reasonable decision that didn’t work out. And I don’t blame Young; Brundage made a bad decision that Young couldn’t rescue.