Stealing home is the most exciting play in baseball. It’s daring. It almost seems impossible. But the Rangers pulled it off last night, as part of a double steal.
While last night’s feat wasn’t quite the straight steal of home, it was part of a double steal. And frankly it’s surprising more teams don’t try this.
Brock Holt was on third. Isiah Kiner-Falefa was on first. Kiner-Falefa initiated it, by breaking for second, which got the catcher’s attention. The moment Kiner-Falefa left for second, Holt broke for home.
Angels catcher Max Stassi must not have noticed, being too focus on the runner stealing second and probably thinking there was no way Brock Holt would steal home. Brock Holt? Yes, Brock Holt. He had stolen second base earlier in the game.
Stassi’s throw to second was too late to get Kiner-Falefa. By the time the Angels realized what was happening, and got the ball back to Stassi, it was way too late. Holt slid home safely. And the Rangers took a 2-1 lead that they would add to later in a 4-1 victory.
That particular double steal is a daring play that only works if the catcher makes the mistake of throwing down to second. Often, they will just fake the throw, see if they can catch the lead runner off base, and get him out, or chase him back, giving up the stolen base of second.
That came on the same night rookie Curtis Terry collected his first major league hit. Terry had been 0-for-20 heading into the game, each failed at-bat weighing more and more on his mind. “Am I ever going to get a hit?” has to be eating away at a batter every time he steps to the plate. Failure is the only true constant in big league baseball.
But finally, in his first plate appearance of the night, and twenty-fifth of his career, Terry doubled. The weight of the world off his shoulders. That double moved Andy Ibañez to third. Moments later, a passed ball from Max Stassi allowed Ibañez to score the first run.
All it all, it was a bad day for the Angels catcher. But a good day for the Rangers. In particular Brock Holt. But it will be a day Curtis Terry will never forget. His first major league hit.
And to celebrate, he picked up his second hit to go with it.
This season was over the moment the Rangers took the field for opening day. Now, it’s about finding positives the next two months.
Stealing home is fun. That first major league hit is forever. All in all, the Rangers have won three in a row. That’s almost unheard of.