Hamilton gets caught Red-footed swiping second
After 13 successful steals, speedster nabbed by Mets catcher for first time
CINCINNATI -- Rookie speedster Billy Hamilton saw reporters hovering near his locker after the Reds' 1-0 loss to the Mets on Wednesday and was a little surprised they wanted to talk.
"Why, because I got thrown out?" Hamilton asked.
Hamilton has had his first steal, his first run scored, his first start and his first hit since his Sept. 3 callup to the Major Leagues. This first was bound to happen as well.
After he had been 13-for-13 in steal attempts, Hamilton has now been caught stealing in the big leagues, too. It happened when he was thrown out at second base by Mets catcher Juan Centeno to end the bottom of the fifth inning.
"Stuff happens. Everybody gets thrown out. There is no perfect guy," said Hamilton, who was 1-for-4 during his third big league start.
Hamilton came up for his third at-bat in the fifth inning. On what would have normally been a routine groundout for most near first base, Hamilton beat Mets pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka to first base for an infield single.
While Centeno will go down as the first catcher to nail Hamilton, credit Matsuzaka as well. Working from the stretch instead of his usual deliberate windup, he made one pickoff throw before throwing a fastball to the plate.
"I talked to the pitchers earlier about being quick to the plate, changing looks with him, doing pickoffs to first, all that stuff. [Hamilton] likes to run early," Centeno said. "Today, I just went to the mound and said, 'I think he's going to go first pitch, let's go quick pitch and fastball down and away.' That's how it happened, and we got him."
Centeno's throw came in ahead of the feet-first-sliding Hamilton. Shortstop Wilfredo Tovar's sweep tag got Hamilton, who was called out without dispute by second-base umpire Tony Randazzo.
"Daisuke changed his delivery. I saw he did the slide step on him," Reds manager Dusty Baker said. "That's what it's going to take, a quick delivery to the plate and a perfect throw. … That's why it's called 'stealing,' sometimes you get caught stealing."
Like Hamilton, Centeno is also a rookie, and he was a September callup from Triple-A Las Vegas. He did not make his debut until Sept. 18.
"The information we had was [Centeno] can shut down a running game, and today, he shut down who will probably one day be the best basestealer in this game," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Great throw, great feet, great release, right on the money. He made it easy. It looked easy."
Hamilton, 23, stole 75 bases this season for Triple-A Louisville, but he was also caught 15 times. Last season when he stole a professional-record 155 bases at Class A Bakersfield and Double-A Pensacola, he was thrown out 37 times.
"It's not going to stop me from going anymore. I'm still going," Hamilton said. "It doesn't matter. I got thrown out in the Minors. I've gotten thrown out every year. I will bounce back and try it again."