Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

Cubs nearly give up same stolen base twice to same player in same inning

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MILWAUKEE -- It was a play that had no bearing on the outcome of the game - but that might be talked about for years by anyone who saw it Friday at Miller Park.

In one of the strangest sequences in recent memory, Milwaukee's Jean Segura stole second in the sixth inning - and then two batters later ended the inning by getting caught trying to steal second.

What?

"Bizarre," admitted umpire crew chief Tom Hallion, to an mlb.com pool reporter, of the inning that got weird when, with Segura at second, Ryan Braun at first and nobody out, Segura broke for third.

That's when pitcher Shawn Camp threw to third baseman Luis Valbuena, who ran Segura back to second, where Braun now stood.

Both were tagged while on the base - and before Segura realized that Braun, by rule, was out, Segura surrendered the base and jogged toward the first-base dugout.

At which point the Cubs scrambled to chase him down, but nobody was covering first to field a throw, and Segura was directed by the first base coach to get on the bag.

"Technically, he stole second, stole first, then got thrown out stealing second," said Hallion, who repeated: "Bizarre."

Second base umpire Phil Cuzzi: "Never saw that [before]."

Umpire supervisor Larry Young, in attendance in the press box, referred writers to rule No. 703(b) and rule No. 708(i). Bottom line: a player is allowed to retreat to a previous, unoccupied base, as long as it's not making a "travesty" of the game.

"The problem was the umpire didn't see us tag Segura when he came off the bag," Cubs manager Dale Sveum said. "They were both tagged when they were both on the base. But when Segura thought he was out, he popped up and Valbuena tagged him again, and the umpire didn't see him tag him."

Camp then struck out Rickie Weeks for the second out.

And then Segura added the final bizarre touch by trying to re-steal second - and getting caught to end the inning.

"Lucky it all worked out," Sveum said.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on April 19, 2013 11:50 PM.

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