OK, so top of the second inning in last night’s Mets/Phillies game. R.A. Dickey drops down a sacrifice bunt to move Josh Thole over to second base. No big deal, right? Except for some reason, Thole decided to run back to first base. He ended up getting tagged out for the final out of the inning. You can watch the bizarre play here.
Initially it appeared as though Jimmy Rollins may have told Thole that the ball was foul, thus tricking him to go back to first base. That was certainly my first reaction. But it turns out that’s not the case. Rollins merely put his hands up to tell him that the play was uncontested.
Thole told Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com after the game that he simply lost his head for a moment.
“I was coming into second, and Jimmy put his hands up, like, ‘Come in easy. You can come in easy.’ And I knew the ball was fair. I even looked down. You go watch the video. I checked it. The ball was on the floor. And I just took off running back to first. I’ve got no other explanation.”
I’m not so sure about that explanation. The bunt was along the first base line and the video certainly makes it look like Thole thought the ball was foul. Pretty embarrassing moment, but at least he looked good doing it. The new Mets’ road unis are pretty snazzy.
Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that the Mets may move Asdrubal Cabrera to second base when he returns from the disabled list. Cabrera has been on the disabled list since June 13 with a sprained left thumb, but he’s expected to be activated on Friday.
Cabrera, 31, last played second base in 2014 with the Nationals. He has played shortstop exclusively as a Met the last two seasons. Jose Reyes would continue to play shortstop if the Mets were to go through with the position change. Cabrera would displace T.J. Rivera, who has been playing second base in place of the injured Neil Walker.
In 196 plate appearances this season, Cabrera is hitting .244/.321/.392 with six home runs and 20 RBI. He has made 11 defensive errors, which is tied for the third-most among shortstops behind Tim Anderson (16) and Dansby Swanson (12).
Brewers closer Corey Knebel set a modern major league record for relievers to start a season, as Thursday’s appearance marked his 38th consecutive appearance with a strikeout. He set down the side in order in the ninth inning, striking Josh Bell out to start the frame.
Aroldis Chapman held the record previously, recording a strikeout in his first 37 appearances of the season in 2014 with the Reds.
Knebel, 25, has flown under the radar despite having an incredibly good season. He moved into the closer’s role in mid-May when Neftali Feliz, now a free agent, struggled. After Thursday’s appearance, Knebel is 12-for-15 in save chances with a 0.96 ERA and a 65/17 K/BB ratio in 37 2/3 innings.