Matthew gave us Kolten Wong’s side of the story on that game-ending pickoff play last night. Here’s history’s side of the story.
Via an email from my friend Mark Armour, I am reminded of another World Series pickoff play. It didn’t actually end a game, but it did end the last good chance for the losing team to make something happen. And the players, at least a couple of them anyway, are familiar with it.
Specifically: Game 2 of the 2007 Series. The Red Sox vs. the Rockies. It’s the eighth inning of a 2-1 game. The Rockies finally get a base runner by virtue of a single. Their most fearsome hitter, Todd Helton, is up to bat against the Red Sox’ closer. Then …
Yup, the Rockies player who hit the single and who got picked off was Matt Holliday, current St. Louis Cardinals left fielder. I imagine, then, that he can console Wong a bit, even if he can’t tell him that everything will be alright in the end.
The Brewers reportedly signed third baseman Mike Moustakas to a one-year, $10 million contract on Sunday. While the deal is not yet official, MLB.com’s Adam McCalvy reports that the Brewers plan to give Moustakas a look at second base during spring training. If all goes well, he will be the primary second baseman and Travis Shaw will stay at third base.
The initial thought was that Moustakas would simply take over at third base for the more versatile Shaw. Moustakas has spent 8,035 of his career defensive innings at third base, 35 innings at first base, and none at second. In fact, he has never played second base as a pro player. Shaw, meanwhile, has spent 268 of his 4,073 1/3 defensive innings in the majors at second base and played there as recently as October.
This is certainly an interesting wrinkle to signing Moustakas, who is a decent third baseman. He was victimized by another slow free agent market, not signing until March last year on a $6.5 million deal with a $15 million mutual option for this season. That option was declined, obviously, and he ended up signing for $5 million cheaper here in February as the Brewers waited him out. Notably, Moustakas did not have qualifying offer compensation attached to him this time around.
Last season, between the Royals and Brewers, the 30-year-old Moustakas hit .251/.315/.459 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 635 plate appearances.