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Orioles Manager Brandon Hyde Calls Steal Attempt In 9th ‘Miscommunication’

gunnar-henderson

Gunnar Henderson was caught stealing in the bottom of the ninth inning, and Orioles manager Brandon Hyde called it “a little miscommunication.”

Saturday’s Game 1 of the American League Division Series between the Orioles and Rangers began with the Orioles down 3-2 when Henderson led off the inning with a base hit to right field off Texas closer Jose Leclerc. Henderson started running for second with the score 2-1 in favor of Aaron Hicks. Henderson was thrown out by catcher Jonah Heim after taking the pitch for a ball.

The final two outs were recorded by Leclerc after he struck out Hicks and induced Adam Frazier to ground out to third. Hyde was heard yelling “What the f—” in the dugout, as seen on television replays.

Henderson reported seeing a steal sign to the media following the game.

Henderson had a 10-for-13 record when it came to stealing bases throughout the regular season, so an attempt at that point was unheard of. One base was stolen by the Orioles in the ninth inning when they were down all season. With a caught-stealing % in the 89th percentile, Heim was one of the best throwing catchers in the majors.

The Orioles’ chances decreased from 33% before the attempted base steal to 11% after Henderson was caught, according to FanGraphs’ win expectation.

“That changed the momentum,” said Rangers third baseman Josh Jung, who homered and started a crucial 5-4-3 double play in the eighth inning with a nice defensive play with two runners on and nobody out.

Heim, who also had an RBI single, laughed that “I kind of blacked out” on the steal attempt.

“I’m kind of mad [the umpire] called it a ball, but I guess it all worked out in the end.”

Early in the count, Heim had thrown down to first base.

“He was getting a big lead. I saw that secondary lead, just trying to shorten him up a little bit if there was a ball in the gap. We know they like to run and [Leclerc] gave me a good pitch to throw on.”

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