Elly De La Cruz of the Cincinnati Reds is probably the most fun baseball player to watch in the major leagues right now. And I’m in South Florida. But what happened this afternoon was special. Although, it wasn’t just his speed and baseball instincts that allowed Elly De La Cruz to steal second, then third, then home. Let’s watch it again.
A close play at second, for sure.
But then what happens next, was assisted by another player. Brewers 3rd baseman Brian Anderson didn’t cover third on the steal. Maybe he was instructed not to. Maybe he had no chance of tagging Elly De La Cruz out anyway. The official scorer could actually change that to fielders indifference if they wanted. Here’s another angle, and watch Anderson closely after Elly steals third.
Anderson was no where near the bag, which allowed Elly to get that huge lead. Elly took his helmet off and did the hair flip which caused the Brewers to relax. Watch him glance over at Anderson as he takes off his helmet. The hair flip was a distraction as Elly was looking over at third base to see if Anderson was going to cover. He did not, which gave Elly the opportunity to creep further towards home. And when the pitcher turned his back, Elly De La Cruz saw an opportunity to steal home, he took it.
The Reds went on to beat the Brewers 8-5.