Panicky Mets mess up pitchout, ball hits umpire on Billy Hamilton’s 13th straight steal (Big League Stew)
By Joe McDonald at 24 September, 2013, 1:54 am
Cincinnati Reds rookie Billy Hamilton makes things happen. He makes things happen and he makes other teams nervous with his blazing speed. Hamilton makes other teams so jittery when he gets a lead from a base, he can even make the opposing pitcher hit the umpire .
After Hamilton entered as a pinch runner in the eighth inning Monday night, the New York Mets figured he would try to steal second base on the next pitch. After all, Hamilton had not been caught in 12 attempts since being called up from the minors. So the Mets called for a pitchout to help give catcher Travis d’Arnaud a better chance — only the message didn’t get to right-hander Frank Francisco. He threw a 90-mph fastball pretty much down the heart of the plate as d’Arnaud got to his feet and stepped away. d’Arnaud reached back, but could not catch the ball with his mitt, and it drilled umpire Tony Randazzo in the chest protector.
Hamilton slid safely into second base for his 13th steal. Randazzo was OK, if perhaps bruised. It could have been worse, if the ball had hit him in the arm, or facemask. And the Mets looked silly, though we’re not sure if the fault lies with Francisco or the rookie catcher or neither. Maybe the coaching staff messed up. Thankfully for them, kind of, the Reds stranded Hamilton at second. They did manage to score a run in the bottom of the 10th to win 3-2 and help themselves clinch a playoff spot. The Mets could only clench, not clinch.
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