Here’s the thing with an infield shift: Yes, it is almost always going to be the right move, because baseball players are usually going to hit into it and make your life as a defense much easier. But when it backfires, the whole thing has the potential to backfire spectacularly, as evidenced by Thursday’s game between the New York Yankees and Houston Astros.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks was up at the plate with a runner on first, so the Astros put shortstop Carlos Correa on the other side of second base and had third baseman Alex Bregman fill in at short. Hicks did hit the ball up the middle, but Correa failed to corral it, meaning that baserunner, Gleyber Torres, was able to take second pretty easily.
Then, Torres realized something: The Astros left third base wide open, so he did what any sensible baseball player would do and took it. He then realized that Houston catcher Martin Maldonado tried to cover third, but didn’t get there in time, which meant no one was covering home, so Torres took off and scored.
It ended up not costing the Astros too much — they went on to topple the Bronx Bombers, 7-4 — but it did mean that Torres will forever be included in YouTube compilations of baseball players who exhibit heads-up base running from now until the end of time.