We've seen several memorable plays at home plate this season. As usual, there have been several blown calls in which a runner should've been called safe or out. Some catchers have done an impressive job of blocking the plate to prevent a run from scoring, too.
Most notable was the collision between the Florida Marlins' Scott Cousins(notes) and the San Francisco Giants' Buster Posey(notes) that put the reigning National League Rookie of the Year out for the season.
That prompted Oakland Athletics' general manager Billy Beane to tell catcher Kurt Suzuki(notes) to avoid putting himself in harm's way. Suzuki did just that Tuesday night against the Detroit Tigers, but likely didn't anticipate what Victor Martinez(notes) would do to avoid a tag.
In the fourth inning, A's first baseman Conor Jackson(notes) let a Carlos Guillen(notes) line drive get past him. Martinez was running from first base and when the ball got past Jackson and skipped into foul territory, Tigers third base coach Gene Lamont waved him in.
Right fielder David DeJesus(notes) threw home and Suzuki caught the ball on the first base side. He whirled around to make the tag, but Martinez stepped (danced?) around him, then dove back toward the plate to score Detroit's first run of the game.
Suzuki confessed after the game that he made a snap decision and didn't know where exactly Martinez was.
"I didn't realize how far he was from home plate," Suzuki said. "He stopped, did a little dance and avoided me."
Meanwhile, Martinez's baserunning groove was the talk of the Tigers' clubhouse. Teammates spoke glowingly of his quick feet in postgame remarks.
Manager Jim Leyland called Martinez's home plate deke "acrobatic."
Home plate umpire John Hirschbeck appeared to make the correct call, judging from replay. Martinez's run wasn't the difference in the game anyway, as the Tigers scored six runs in the fifth on their way to an 8-3 win.