Most baseball fans probably don’t know much about Rougned Odor, other than the fact that he has a funny name and comes from a family full of Rougneds. The 21-year-old second baseman had a quietly good regular season, though, and it’s taken him less than a game and a half to make a splash in these playoffs. Odor has been busting up the Blue Jays all by himself.
Odor hit eighth for the Rangers in Game 1, and managed to get a hit and score three runs despite only seeing six total pitches. He was hit with the first pitch of his at-bat in the third inning, and would be driven in by Delino DeShields Jr. During his second at-bat, Odor was once again hit with the first pitch, and came around to score when Robinson Chirinos homered. For his third at-bat, Odor did this:
Which brings us to today’s game. Odor walked to lead off the second inning, at which point Chris Gimenez chopped a ball that bounced way up into the air, eventually finding Marcus Stroman’s glove behind the mound. Running to second, Odor noticed that the whole left side of the infield had converged on the chopper, and so he raced his way to third before the Jays could recover. The next batter hit a relatively shallow fly ball to center, but Odor tagged from third anyway. He should have been out, but managed to score thanks to a tremendous slide:
It’s not just that Odor has been getting on base and scoring runs, it’s that he’s been doing it in ways that must be objectively annoying to his opponents. It’s annoying when a guy gladly receives two pitches with his body and then goes on to score; it’s annoying when someone manages to go first to third on a ball that didn’t even reach second base; it’s really annoying when that same guy renders a perfect throw home completely meaningless with a heady slide. It’s one thing to get worked over by the other team’s stars, but it must really sting when the second-year player who hits eighth is out there causing this much trouble.