DENVER -- For sheer entertainment value, Saturday's first-inning rundown that involved Colorado's Eric Young Jr., the entire Giants infield and pitcher Madison Bumgarner was hard to beat. "I think it's the first time I've seen a standing ovation for a runner who just got picked off as he left the field," Giants bench coach Ron Wotus said Sunday. Wotus, who tutors San Francisco's infielders, wouldn't have given heavy applause to their execution of the fundamentals. But he didn't complain about the result of the back-and-forth play, which was scored 1-5-6-4-5-3-1 as Young broke early on a stolen-base try and was trapped between second and third.
"Guys gave up the ball too quickly," Wotus said, pointing out that an ideal rundown should not involve as many exchanges as the Giants made. "When you give it up a little early, the runner has a chance to change direction and stay in the rundown." That's exactly what happened with Young, whom Wotus credited for taking advantage of the Giants' tiny yet significant lapses.
"It can be more difficult with a speedy runner when he has distance between himself and the fielder," Wotus said.He added that at least one of the infielders should have pump-faked a throw, though that's discouraged. A pump-fake might have enabled the Giants to narrow the gap between themselves and Young more quickly. But Wotus did praise the infielders for not obstructing Young on the basepath, which would have prompted the umpires to award him third base.