In the bottom of the seventh, Brewers pitcher Alex Claudio attempted to pick off Giants center fielder Kevin Pillar at first. As Claudio turned to make the throw, Pillar took off for second. Thanks to a lack of urgency from Milwaukee’s Jesus Aguilar, Pillar was able to beat the follow-up throw and successfully steal second base.
Though the failed pick-off and bobbled throw already made this steal attempt a bit out of the ordinary, Pillar decided to take things to the next level with a slide so strong that it knocked the base a few feet from where it was planted.
A quick glance at the replay will likely make you breathe a sigh of relief that Pillar was able to get out of the play without any semblance of an injury. As for how it was officiated, the umpire called the play dead and Pillar safe, even though he had falcon-kicked the base away from his foot after the tag. Despite it being a rare occurrence, this kind of incident is outlined in the MLB official rulebook:
Rule 5.09(b)(4)(A): If the impact of a runner breaks a base loose from its position, no play can be made on that runner at that base if he had reached the base safely.
Rule 5.09(b)(4)(B): If a base is dislodged from its position during a play, any following runner on the same play shall be considered as touching or occupying the base if, in the umpire’s judgment, he touches or occupies the point marked by the dislodged bag.
Even with the rules spelled out, however, it is still a bit of a surprise that Pillar didn’t try and reach out for the dislodged base so as to not leave any doubt that he’s safe. Personally, I’m disappointed that he didn’t try to pick up the bag and run to third.