NEW YORK - Alexi Casilla held up on Manny Machado’s low line drive to second base last night, broke late to third after Robinson Cano played the ball on one hop, and realized that he had no shot at reaching the bag.
Glancing back at Machado, his priorities changed in a hurry.
“I stayed in the rundown to give Manny time to get to second so we could keep somebody in scoring position, but we couldn’t do it,” Casilla said this afternoon. “I tried my best to stay in it as long as I can and get Manny to second.”
It didn’t work. Kevin Youkilis tagged out Casilla, and Machado was cut down trying to reach the bag. A 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play.
“When I’m in the rundown, I was looking to Manny, where he was, and I said, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got to stay as long as I can,’ ” Casilla recalled. “When (Kevin) Youkilis tagged me out, I looked back to Manny and he was like halfway. I said, ‘There’s no way they just turned a triple play. Oh, my God.’ That was my first thought.
“It (usually) happens with a double steal, line drive to the middle, and a hard ground ball to third. Men on second and first. But they made the right choice.”
Cano initiated it, according to Casilla, but instructing shortstop Jayson Nix to forget about first base and the double play.
“(Nix) was going to go to first,” said Casilla, who never had been involved in a triple play before last night. “Cano started it. He told him to throw to third. I saw Cano tell him Nix to throw it to third. That was a good idea for Cano because anything can happen, especially teams like this.
“I can score from third easier than Machado from first. That’s what I was supposed to do. I had to freeze on a line drive, and (Cano) catches it on a short-hop, so tough to read.”
Casilla went 2-for-3 against CC Sabathia, reaching on a double and infield hit. He’s 14-for-24 lifetime against the veteran southpaw.
“He’s one of those pitchers who I see the ball good against, CC,” Casilla said. “To me, he throws a lot of fastballs and sliders, so I sit on the fastball or slider and just react. If it’s fastball away, I go away to the right side. It’s kind of like a reaction thing. If he throws me a slider, I’m going to pull it. But I’ve been lucky against him. I see the ball good against CC.”
Note: In an effort to allow more fans to honor Earl Weaver, the Orioles have announced that “A Celebration of Earl” will now begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 20 at Camden Yards. The memorial was previously scheduled to begin at 2 p.m.
“A Celebration of Earl” will include a video tribute and a collection of notable guest speakers, including Jim Palmer, Brooks Robinson, Frank Robinson, Buck Showalter, National Baseball Hall of Fame President Jeff Idelson and Earl’s son, Mike Weaver.