It looked like just another routine out in a baseball game.
But it wasn’t.
It was the top of the fifth inning of Monday night’s game at Camden Yards. Kansas City was batting with one out and a man on first. The runner, Mike Aviles, broke for second. O’s catcher Matt Wieters threw a strike to second to record the out as Cesar Izturis applied the tag.
What made the play remarkable was how fast it happened.
A veteran scout in the press box timed the play from the moment the ball hit Wieters mitt until Izturis caught the ball. The time was 1.69 seconds.
That is not just good, it was an exceptionally fast time. The scout felt certain he had timed it right. He also could not remember any time that fast in recent years.
Told of the scouts timing on his throw, Wieters was not going to brag about it the next day in the O’s clubhouse.
“That might have been a fast watch. I just tried to make a good throw. I think the one in the first inning was quicker than the one in the fifth. (actually the scout said it was not quite as fast).
“You just try to get it rid of it as quick as you can. My arm feels good, it’s still early in the year and the arm strength is still there.
“When you get those fast base runners that get good jumps, you might cheat a little early and when you get a pitch that you can throw on while cheating on, that’s where the quick times come from.”
Wieters leads the American League in catcher caught stealing percentage, topping Joe Mauer and all the rest.
.458 - Matt Wieters, O’s (11 of 24)
.389 - Joe Mauer, Minn (7 of 18)
.348 - Lou Marson, Clev (8 of 23)
Wieters said a catcher takes great pride in his ability to make plays like that and control an opponents running game.
“That’s big for a catcher. It’s right up there with getting a big hit. That’s the toughest play a catcher gets to make, we are not going to throw a guy out going in the hole at short. It’s cutting down guys stealing, a play that a catcher can make.”