I went to the Rangers game Friday and the night had some surreal moments. Aside from the fact that Elvis Andrus got the walk off single to win it 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning on a day in which the Rangers decided to have 9 Elvis impersonators riding tiny motorcycles around the park, there was a play that scored a run for the Rangers that involved an obscure rule that I had never seen before and had no idea what had happened until I got back home to watch the broadcast.
Vlad Guerrero was on 3rd and newly called up Justin Smoak was at the plate with 2 outs. The pitcher threw a ball in the dirt. It bounced away but it only rolled a few feet from the catcher Alex Avila. Avila calmly walked over and pushed the ball with his mask (held in his right hand) over to his glove hand where he scooped it up.
Apparently, it is illegal for a catcher to touch or stop the ball with his mask and this little mistake brought the first base ump in to award Guerrero home and charge Avila with an error.
The run proved to be pivotal as the Tiger tied the game in the top of the 9th and the Rangers ended up winning 5-4 in the bottom of the 9th inning.
It just goes to show that there are new things to learn about baseball every day!
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