In the fourth inning of Sunday afternoon's game against the Tigers, Lonnie Chisenhall smoked a single through the right side of the infield. Francisco Lindor scored on the play. ESPN has the following description: Lindor scored, Napoli to third, Chisenhall thrown out at second attempting to advance on play.
This is not quite how it went down. I normally prefer to embed these videos, but MLB.tv is being a punk, and it won't work. The previous sentence is what is known as a hyperlink, which will take you to another part of the internet. I assure you, it is very safe. I will await your return.
WELCOME BACK. It's clear that the Indians should have scored two runs on this play. LGFT Mike Aviles does not make a particularly good throw, and the ball sneaks past Jarrod Saltalamacchia. As you can see in the video, Napoli is just kind of hanging out near third while the ball crashes into the backstop.
I think it's perfectly reasonable to shout at Mike Napoli in this situation. Am I saying that simply because it's what I did? Why, of course not! I simply suggested that the F in #MFN might be somewhat more appropriate than usual. Why didn't Napoli score?
Napoli should have scored on Chiz single, but slid into third. Couldn't react fast enough when throw from RF got past the catcher.— paul hoynes (@hoynsie) June 26, 2016
Why is Napoli sliding into third when the throw is almost certainly going to go to the plate? I just don't know. I'll ask him if I ever make it to one of his legendary parties. I will probably refrain from using the same language I did this afternoon. Mike's a big guy. I am not.
Then, the Chisengoof. I don't have any idea how he managed to get ALL THE WAY TO THIRD without remembering that Napoli was ahead of him. During the broadcast you can clearly see Chisenhall staring at home all the way around the bases. My assumption is that he saw the throw go between/around/through Saltalamacchia's legs and thought Napoli would certainly follow Lindor into the promised land.
What can third base coach Mike Sarbaugh do but watch his right fielder get tagged out while retreating to second? Lonnie is a strong beautiful right fielder that don't need no base coach. While it's technically true that Chisenhall made in out trying to advance, he actually got out because he didn't make it safely to a base that he'd already reached. The mistake didn't end up hurting the Indians very much since the entire city of Cleveland homered off of Justin Verlander in the fifth inning. It may have hurt Chisenhall for a brief moment:
"Hello darkness, my old friend. I've gotten TOOTBLAN'D once again." I'm not sure if he's more embarrassed at the base running mistake or the way he flailed when he tried to dodge the tag.
The good news: Chiz hit the two run shot an inning later that put the game out of reach for the Tigers. This is one of those plays that would deserve a much more furious write-up if the Indians lost by, say, one run. Fortunately this out only delayed the rapid deconstruction of Verlander; he'd already thrown a wild pitch and walked two in the inning. To be honest, his pitch to Chisenhall almost looks grooved to me:
I don't care how hard you throw a fastball. You're going to have a pretty long afternoon if you put it there. I'm actually a bit upset with Lonnie for just barely smacking through the hole on the right side of the infield. This is a pitch that should have landed across the river in Windsor.
Again, I can only do so much complaining. The Indians won — their ninth consecutive victory — and have not lost to the Tigers at all this year. I like the idea of never losing again, don't you?