Jonathan Villar steals home, gets plunked by Wei-Yin Chen

Blair Johnson
Yahoo! Sports Minute Blog
Jonathan Villar steals home, gets plunked by Wei-Yin Chen
Jonathan Villar steals home, gets plunked by Wei-Yin Chen

Jackie Robinson made stealing home an art form. When one of the game's greatest icons famously accomplished the feat during Game 1 of the 1955 World Series, it was considered a significant moment in baseball history. The theft Houston Astros rookie Jonathan Villar pulled off against the Baltimore Orioles Tuesday night was far from being as legendary as the move Robinson pulled off 58 years ago — but it was certainly more painful.

Baltimore pitcher Wei-Yin Chen was faced with a bases loaded situation in the third inning with two outs and had a 1-2 count on right fielder Justin Maxwell when Villar went to work. He was able to get down the third-base line so easily, he didn't even have to slide. But right as the 22-year old shortstop hit the deck, Chen threw a pitch that plunked Villar right in the back of the helmet. Villar popped up as if what had just happened was no big deal — but it was no small feat. “I cannot say that I have witnessed a steal of home that clean before,” Astros manager Bo Porter told the Houston Chronicle after the game (which the O's eventually won 4-3 thanks to Chris Davis' first home run since July 14.)

"For me it was easy," Villar said. "Because sometimes when the pitcher doesn't look at me, that's easy for me." As for Chen's take: "That was embarrassing and that's a lesson I need to learn. I looked down and I had no clue he was going to home."

Moving to football news, the Seattle Seahawks will be without their big off-season acquisition for awhile. Wide receiver Percy Harvin will undergo hip surgery Thursday and reportedly miss 3-4 months.

And Ohio State running back Carlos Hyde won't face criminal charges but was suspended for at least three games following an incident at a Columbus nightclub.

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