Thursday, October 21, 2010
Jeff Francoeur: No play at the plate
By Jeff Caplan
NEW YORK -- Texas Rangers right fielder Jeff Francoeur said he didn't believe he had a play at the plate on lumbering Lance Berkman so he tried to get Jorge Posada at third instead. But, everything went bad from there, putting the Rangers in a 3-0 hole in the second inning.
"I know Berkman's not the fastest guy in the world, but at the same time, I did look up right when the ball was hit and I saw he took off right away," Francoeur said. "So, I thought I actually had a better chance at Posada at third. And to be honest, if I had a good throw I think I would have had him. But, the ball kind of skipped and went to the left and kind of just led to a crappy inning."
With Berkman at second and Posada at first, Curtis Granderson singled into right-center. Francoeur's momentum to make the play took him toward center to throwing home would have required him to turn and fire. He scooped it up and, without hesitation, launched a line-drive throw to third. It landed in front of Young, kind of darting to the side and skidded past him, finally bouncing off the dugout facing.
"I don't know if it the lip or hit a rock. I don't know what it hit, but it kind of took a left turn," Young said. "It [the throw] was a little off, but I still think I had time to get the ball and come back with a tag. It would have been bang-bang regardless. I'm not sure if we would have had him or not, but, yeah, it definitely took a weird kick at the end. He definitely had to come to third with that play. Going to his right so much, I think Lance is going to cruise into the plate pretty easily. The play was at third."
Pitcher C.J. Wilson said he thought Francoeur was going to try to nail Berkman at the plate. Wilson backed up the play, gathered the loose baseball as Posada chugged home, but Wilson's toss to catcher Matt Treanor sailed high and away, allowing Posada to score easily for a 3-0 Yankees lead. Francoeur was charged with an error and Posada's run was unearned.
Treanor said he didn't believe Francoeur had a great shot at Berkman at the plate.
"I guess it would have had to have been a perfect throw. It would have been bang-bang," Treanor said. "But, early in the game like that, yeah, go to third. I thought he had a shot over there, too. The ball took a funky hop on Michael."