With the Angels leading 6-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning thanks to the human android himself, Bobby Abreu’s go-ahead home run in the top half, Jordan Walden almost gave the lead right back to the Yankees. That is, until fate intervened. The Yankees were able to put the tying runners on the corner with Mark Teixeira at the plate and two outs in the inning. If the narrative required that they be losing, the Yankees really couldn’t have asked for a better situation.
With Eduardo Nunez at third base and Curtis Granderson at first, Jordan Walden pulled out a baseball fan’s greatest foe: the fake to third, throw to first pickoff move. Instead of a waste of ten seconds and a little bit of energy, it actually ended the ball game.
Here’s the play, merely in its gestational phase:
Nothing strange there, but just look at how Walden’s body stiffens when he turns towards first base:
You don’t have to be Cal Lightman from the now-defunct FOX series, Lie to Me, to know that Walden is shocked, absolutely shocked, that Curtis Granderson has taken off for second base.
Walden then makes the throw to second and, after a brief but fruitless fight, Granderson shrugs his shoulders, full with the knowledge that he’s been hoodwinked:
While Larry Granillo may have proof that this type of play does occasionally occur in nature, I can’t think of a time that it happened to end a baseball game. Any trivia buffs want to come up with an answer?
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