(BaseballStL) -- With potential playoff implications on the line, the Cincinnati Reds looked befuddled through the first two games against the St. Louis Cardinals.
Usually the gaffes come in the form of a fielding error. There’s been only one of those and it came when Jay Bruce nonchalantly went to field an RBI single hit by Matt Holliday in the first inning on Tuesday.
The runner would have scored with or without the gaffe, but it allowed Carlos Beltran to advance to third base. Beltran would score on a double play hit during the next at-bat to give St. Louis a 2-0 lead after the first inning.
On a side note, Shin-Soo Choo came close to breaking the No. 1 rule of base running when he rounded more towards second base than foul territory when he beat out an infield single to first base to lead off the game. Craig applied the tag on Choo as he made his way back to first base, but the Reds outfielder was ruled safe after all four umpires convened to discuss the play.
“The runner made no attempt towards second base,” Matheny said of what the umpires told him following the play. “He just turned toward second.”
Embarrassment avoided for Choo and the Reds.
Before pointing out the next gaffe, it should be noted that rounding off into foul territory after running through first base is something taught at the elementary level. Not in the minors, college or even high school -- it’s instilled in the minds of little children before the ‘cootie’ stage of life is over.
Bruce found himself in the middle of another gaffer later in Tuesday’s game.. After reaching base on a double to lead off the fourth inning, Bruce was rounding third base to head for home plate to score the Reds first run of the game. But because pitcher Mat Latos was at the dish, the Cardinals outfield wasn’t playing deep enough for Bruce to score considering how hard the ball was hit to center field.
Jon Jay collected the base hit cleanly for a play at the plate, but Bruce didn’t notice third base coach Mark Berry telling him to stop until he was about one-third down the line. It was enough to confuse Zack Cozart, who was going first to third on the throw. Bruce and Cozart both ended up on third base. Kelly tagged Cozart for the final out of the inning.
Another thing the little league instructors teach young baseball players: watch the runner ahead of you.
All of this comes one game after Joey Votto appeared to forget there were only two outs in the seventh inning when fielding a routine ground out. It was unlikely he could have turned a double play, but it was a mental blunder nonetheless.
If this keeps up, the third and final game of the series should be a classic.