The Red Sox and Rays are playing an extremely important four-game series in Fenway Park this week, a series that will determine first place in the AL East (for the time being). Tampa got complete-game victories from Matt Moore and David Price on Monday and Wednesday, respectively, but Tuesday's game required some bullpen work.
One of the relievers Joe Maddon used in that game was rookie left-hander Alex Torres, who has been dynamite this season. The 25-year-old has a 0.30 ERA and 0.63 WHIP in 30 1/3 innings while striking out 37. In addition to being outstanding on the mound, he has has a nifty pick-off play in his repertoire. Check it out:
No, it didn't work, but that's pretty sneaky. Glove is resting on his left hand with the ball while his right hand removes his cap then BAM! Pick-off throw to first. That is really, really slick.
Balk rules are tricky, but I've always been under the impression that anything done in an attempt to deceive the runner (or batter) qualified as a balk. I mean, if that move isn't a balk, I don't know what is. I do know that it was neat though. Props to Torres for the creativity.
(h/t Reddit Baseball)