Freddy Guzman Steals | The Process Report

Freddy Guzman Steals

Freddy Guzman’s first assignment as the Rays’ designated pinch runner was a toughie.

In the bottom of the ninth, with two outs on the board, Joe Maddon inserted Guzman as the tying run. Just a day earlier, the Rays had purchased Guzman’s contract and promoted him as their new pair of wheels off the bench. The Rangers knew all about this and their battery of Joe Nathan and A.J. Pierzynski paid close attention to the speedster. Finally, on a 2-1 pitch, Guzman went. The result was a bang-bang play at the bag; one that could’ve went either way without argument:

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Last week we talked about David DeJesus’ poor jumps. Guzman managed better on Wednesday night, and was in motion once Nathan lifted his leg. It wasn’t an easy stolen base, though: Both Nathan and Pierzynski clocked in at solid times relative to their position, and Guzman doesn’t have a chance if not for his speed. There were a few minor things that determined the outcome: Pierzynski’s throw was off-line just a bit, leaving Elvis Andrus in position to tag Guzman’s backside. It’s worth noting Pierzynski’s momentum carried him toward his left, and may have caused him to overcompensate on the throw; likewise, it’s tough to say how much David DeJesus’ fake bunt influenced the backstop’s actions.

For his part, Guzman face-planted:

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The Rays would prefer a prettier slide and an easier safe call in the future, but Guzman’s results on his first night were hard to argue with.



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