With runners on first and second in the seventh inning of the Mets’ 5-2 win over the Braves on Friday night, Jose Reyes hit a pop-up to the left side of the infield. The infield fly rule was correctly invoked, meaning Reyes was automatically out. As the ball began its descent, there was a little miscommunication between Atlanta shortstop Omar Infante and third baseman Chipper Jones. Jones cut Infante off in trying to make the catch at the last second, and the ball bounced off the heel of his glove and back toward home plate. The runners both moved up. Braves catcher Brian McCann got confused and threw to first, apparently to get Reyes out a second time. While Eric Hinske applied a tag to the already-out Reyes and looked bewilderedly at the first base umpire, Angel Pagan broke for home and scored.
I don’t think any play can better introduce a question I’ve long had about baseball: When the infield fly is called, why do infielders try to catch the ball anyway? Continue reading »