The baserunning blunder turned spectacular retreat happened after Plouffe hit a rocket into the left-field corner for certain extra bases. Or maybe it wasn't, because Toronto left fielder Rajai Davis played the ball expertly off the padded wall and then followed up with a strong throw into second base that was just a little offline.
Had the throw been online, Plouffe, who hustled the whole way, would have been a dead duck. As it turned out, he was a dead duck anyway due to his late, overly aggressive slide that carried him past the base into no man's land. What followed was a little game of cat and mouse between Plouffe and second baseman Adeiny Hechavarria, which Plouffe amazingly won — as ruled by Tim McClelland — by sneaking his left hand back in after narrowly avoiding both of Hechavarria's quick tag attempts.
Here's a look at the play:
For those scoring at home, Plouffe would have been credited with a double regardless of the ruling because he contacted the bag while sliding on by. But I don't think he was so much concerned about the scoring as he was making up for his gaffe. To his credit — and Hechavarria's discredit — he did just that, but there's no way he'll be able to escape the flack he'll catch from his teammates for that awkward sliding technique.
Or from us, for that matter.
Oh, and by the way, having seen all the angles several times, I believe McClelland got the call correct. There's no controversy here, just a weird play with an entertaining result in an otherwise meaningless 4-3 win for the Blue Jays.
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- Trevor Plouffe