One indication of just how strange Jean Segura’s adventures on the basepaths were in Milwaukee’s 5-4 win over the Cubs last night: The first 19 paragraphs of the Associated Press's 33-paragraph game story were about his baserunning in the eighth inning.
Here’s what happened, in case you’re reading this on a device that won’t allow you to watch video, or in case someone is reading it to you over the phone, or you’ve got a too-slow Internet connection, or you’re reading this in a future where Major League Baseball’s website has paywalled every single crumb of content it ever posted, or you're in an even-more-distant dystopia in which only archived words survive online (so compact, they are!), or you just like people to describe things to you in words, as humans have done for one another since they invented language for exactly such a purpose.
Segura, a Brewers shortstop entering his first full year in the bigs, led off with an infield single off Kevin Gregg. Then Segura stole second.
Gregg walked Ryan Braun. Pitching change: Shawn Camp in to face Rickie Weeks. Runners on first and second, no outs. Advantage, Milwaukee.
Then: walnuts. On a 1-2 count, Segura misreads Camp’s timing and bolts for third. Camp pivots and fires to third. Segura, caught in an easy rundown, heads back to second — just as Braun is arriving from first. Braun, standing on the bag, gets tagged. The umpire signals that he’s out. Segura dives for second, gets tagged while touching the base, and tagged again seemingly once his hand is off. He starts trotting, then running, toward first. “I was surprised,” he said later, “because I was going to the dugout.”
The call is that Segura is safe at first. That is, he tried to steal third and wound up taking first instead.
Moments later, Segura, still feeling frisky, tries again for second. Weeks watches a third strike fly past, and the throw to second is in time. The third out of the inning comes at second, as Segura is caught stealing a base he'd successfully stolen when there were no outs. Cubs manager Dale Sveum said afterward: “I don’t know if that’s ever happened in the history of the game.” Which is a funny thing to say, because it just did.