The Pirates don’t seem to like touching first base.
Pittsburgh third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes launched a ball down the right-field line that carried over the wall for a home run in Tuesday’s game against the Dodgers. Or, rather, what should have been a home run.
On video review, it was found that Hayes missed the first base bag when he was rounding the bases. As a result, he was called out.
Hayes was sprinting around through the first half of the hit, clearly unsure if the ball had in fact cleared the wall for a home run after it bounced back into right field off the seats. Video shows that as he was rounding first, he was looking down the right-field line and his left foot steps just to the side of the base.
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The home run would have put Pittsburgh up 1-0 in the first inning and given Hayes his second home run in five games.
The missed bag by Hayes is the latest miscue for a Pirates team that has struggled in the 2021 season. Earlier in the year, they were the subject of another viral mistake as first baseman Will Craig tried chasing down Cubs shortstop Javier Baez on what should have been a groundout, but that ultimately allowed a run to score and Baez to reach second. Had Craig just stepped back and touched first base instead of running after Baez, who had turned and bolted back toward the batter’s box, the Pirates would’ve escaped the inning trailing by only a run.
But the Pirates aren’t the only team to lose a home run on a baserunning blunder. On Opening Day, Dodgers center fielder Cody Bellinger cleared the left field wall for a home run; however, third baseman Justin Turner, who had just run past second base and started retreating back toward first, thought the fly ball was an out and had not gone over the fence. Bellinger passed his confused teammate on the basepaths, resulting in an out for Bellinger, but Turner scored since the ball did clear the wall, resulting in a puzzling RBI single.
Rounding the bases is supposed to be the easiest part of the home run. But clearly, sometimes, it’s still not that easy.