Phillies shortstop Pedro Florimon used one of the oldest tricks in the book to double up the Nationals Trea Turner and essentially seal Philadelphia’s 3-1 win Saturday.
It was old-school trickery at its best, and the 31-year-old Florimon executed it to perfection.
With the Phillies up 3-1 in the bottom of the ninth, Turner got to first on a leadoff walk.
The Nats speedster was running on the first pitch to pinch hitter Matt Wieters, which Wieters popped into short right field.
Florimon covered second and acted as if he was waiting for the throw from catcher Andrew Knapp.
The throw would never come, but Turner didn’t know that as he slid into second, thinking he had stolen the base.
To keep him there for a moment longer, Florimon held his glove on Turner as he stood up and dusted himself off. Florimon, of course, didn’t have the ball in his glove; he was just trying to distract Turner from figuring out that Wieters had popped up to Cesar Hernandez.
Nationals first base coach Tim Bogar was waving Turner back to first, but it was too late as Hernandez flipped it to first for the rally-killing double play.
“Usually I hear the ball off the bat, so a lot of times if I hear it I’ll look up. I didn’t hear it that time,” Turner said, according to MLB.com.
“I knew Florimon didn’t have the ball, I just figured it was like a passed ball or something, that he was trying to get me to stay at second base. So by the time I realized, I looked up and saw Matt Wieters running down the first-base line. It kind of confused me. It happens. If I hear it, I think I look up and run back and everything is fine. I happened to not hear it,” Turner added.
The veteran Florimon came in the game in the sixth inning to replace Scott Kingery. He struck out twice, but his heads-up defensive maneuver sealed the victory.
Pedro Florimón’s deke move to help secure a 3-1 win against the Nationals highlights value of veteran on #Phillies’ bench. “It speaks to his instincts, his baseball acumen and definitely speaks to his baseball IQ.”https://t.co/UK5C5onSng
— Meghan Montemurro (@M_Montemurro) May 6, 2018
“I thought that he tried to steal the base, so I saw the popup and I tried to fake him to stay on the base,” Florimon told MLB.com after the game. “That was something I could hold for a moment, so Cesar could catch the ball and get a double play.”
Vince Velazquez (2-4) got the win for the Phillies, who improved to 18-14.
Tanner Roark (2-3) took the loss for the 17-17 Nationals.
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