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The fake-out intentional walk

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The fake-out intentional walk

Postby bellings » Fri Apr 28, 2006 8:31 pm

I was watching a game earlier this year when a batter, I think it was Thome, got ahead in the count 3-1, so they decided to intentionally walk him. It occured to me that I had never seen anyone fake an intentional walk. I suppose that the catcher could have walked out to the mound to call the fake-out, and then went back behind the plate and stood with his arm out. I would think that the catcher could squat as the pitcher did his wind-up and catch the batter on his heels.

Has anyone ever seen this happen? Is it feasable? It would be a pretty sweet way to turn a 3-1 into a 3-2.
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Postby p32bars » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:02 pm

I have seen it - Dennis Martinez and Tony Pena pulled it off for the Tribe in the late 90's. I can't recall who it was against. The count was in Martinez' favor and he eventually got 3-2 and with 1st base open, Pena signaled for an intentional walk. Martinez acted like he was throwing out and Pena dipped back onto the outside corner and the batter was rung up. Great moment !
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Postby Apollo » Fri Apr 28, 2006 9:16 pm

Yep, that's exactly the answer I was going to name. It was fantastic.
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Postby p32bars » Fri Apr 28, 2006 10:17 pm

Also, Johnny Bench had it pulled on him in the 70's.
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Postby dewey finn » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:47 pm

Isn't it kinda dangerous though? I mean a guy like Thome can just smack it out opposite field with his quick hands
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Postby stoner420 » Fri Apr 28, 2006 11:51 pm

yes id imagine it would eb slightly dangerous but could probably be pulled off to a rate of success that would make it worthwhile. but, its one of those plays that u basically could use once a year...
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Postby bellings » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:00 am

stoner420 wrote:yes id imagine it would eb slightly dangerous but could probably be pulled off to a rate of success that would make it worthwhile. but, its one of those plays that u basically could use once a year...


Yeah, kind of like hiding the ball in your glove. It's pretty hard to pull that off more than once.
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Postby dewey finn » Sat Apr 29, 2006 12:37 am

Heh.....remember that cheesy movie, Angels in the Outfield? That pick off move to first base where the pitcher doesnt throw it at all but the first baseman makes it seem like a wild throw way off line......so the pitcher easily throws out the baserunner thinking he has a free pass to 2nd.

I'd like to see that happen once in MLB.
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Postby Irish » Sat Apr 29, 2006 1:38 am

dewey finn wrote:Heh.....remember that cheesy movie, Angels in the Outfield? That pick off move to first base where the pitcher doesnt throw it at all but the first baseman makes it seem like a wild throw way off line......so the pitcher easily throws out the baserunner thinking he has a free pass to 2nd.

I'd like to see that happen once in MLB.


That was Little Big League, and the baserunner was Ken Griffey Junior
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Postby BobbyRoberto » Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:01 am

When it happened to Johnny Bench (mentioned above), it was in the World Series in a crucial moment.

Here's the basics, thanks to retrosheet.org:

Top of the 8th, Reds leading 1-0 over Oakland.
Rose lines out.
Morgan walks.
Tolan singles to center, Morgan to third.
Rollie Fingers comes in.
Tolan steals second (I believe it was on a 3-1 pitch, making the count 3-2).
With the count 3-2, the A's signal for the inentional walk but Fingers throws a strike for strike three and the second out.
Perez is intentionally walked.
Menke pops to second.

Despite pulling the fake intentional walk on Bench at a crucial moment of the game, the A's couldn't score and ended up losing the game anyway.
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