Texas Rangers second baseman Rougned Odor has been a nightmare for the Detroit Tigers the past couple of days.
On Monday, he stole two bases and scored three runs in the Rangers' 6-2 victory and, on Tuesday, he was at it again, making another heads-up base-running play that led to a run in Texas's 10-4 win.
However, Tuesday's base-running play was even more outstanding, as it was something that doesn't happen very often in baseball.
As you can see in the video below, Odor attempts a straight steal of home plate against Detroit left-hander Daniel Stumpf. He would have been safe no matter what happened, but when Stumpf fired the ball to home plate, he committed a balk, so Odor's steal technically won't go down in the scorebook:
Regardless of whether it's a steal or not (which it was not), the impressive play was made even more outstanding by what happened just a couple of pitches earlier.
According to the Rangers, Odor had bluffed a steal of home earlier in the at-bat to get his timing right against Stumpf (via MLB.com):
"Just a great play by [Odor]," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "He set it up early with the bluff, getting his timing down. When there was no reaction there, it was just a matter of time. You could see it in his face that he was going to go. A great play by him."
At the time Odor scored, the Rangers were only leading 5-3, so extending the lead to 6-3 was important. However, the Texas bats came alive late and the Rangers cruised to an easy 10-4 victory.
Stumpf admitted that he saw Odor's bluff two pitches before the steal attempt, but brushed it off, which ended up being a big mistake. Then, when he attempted to throw home to catch Odor, he made a mistake and committed a balk:
"I saw him jockeying two pitches before that," Stumpf said. "Saw him in the corner, didn't think anything of it. Made my next pitch … I got lazy and came up too slow. Looked home and saw Hicks red-eyed it and knew he was moving."
As the two teams face off again on Wednesday, the Tigers will need to make sure they know where Odor is at all times, lest he make another big play on the base paths.
The Rangers improved to 58-60 with Tuesday's win, while the Tigers fell to 53-66. Both teams trail by wide margins in their divisions and time is running out for them to turn things around.
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