Brett Gardner was caught stealing twice on Saturday, and both times it was not so much because he was not fast enough but because he was outsmarted.
The first time he was caught, the Indians threw a pitchout – the second pitchout of the at-bat against Francisco Cervelli – and Lou Marson’s throw to shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera was on time. Just before the pitchout, though, starter Mitch Talbot had thrown over to first and caught Gardner flinching toward second before he dove back to first.
“It was called from the dugout to do the pitchout again,” Talbot said. “I saw him flinch (on the previous throw to first) so I was going back over there again if it wasn’t called.”
The second time Gardner was caught off second base as Talbot spun toward him. Gardner broke for third and Talbot threw there to get him.
“It’s just working the runner,” Talbot said. “A couple of no-looks, one check, and then you try to bait him a little bit.”
Talbot said he wasn’t aware of Gardner’s struggles at stealing bases this season (he’s 13 for 22).
“I had no idea about that,” the pitcher said. “I just know he flies and he likes to run.”