Jonathan Villar shrewdly dropped a line drive to get a double play

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The Red Sox, leading 1-0 over the Brewers in the top of the third inning on Thursday afternoon, had a runner on first base and one out facing starter Jimmy Nelson. Mitch Moreland lined a 1-2 fastball up the middle. With the infield shifted, second baseman Jonathan Villar appeared to catch the line drive, but with his back turned to the infield, the ball trickled out of his glove. Villar quickly shoveled the ball to shortstop Orlando Arcia, who quickly fired the ball to first base to complete the 4-6-3 double play.

Xander Bogaerts, who was on first base, was confused by the whole situation. Red Sox manager John Farrell came out to argue that Villar intentionally dropped the line drive. If the umpires agreed, Moreland would be out but Bogaerts would stay on first base according to rule 6.05(l). The umpires did not agree, so the inning ended on Villar’s shrewd double play.

Watching the video, especially in slow motion, it does appear that Villar intentionally dropped the line drive, so he probably got away with that one. It didn’t matter, though, as the Red Sox won 4-1.