The Blue Jays beat the struggling Rangers 4-1 Saturday, but the bigger story involved Toronto outfielder Colby Rasmus and Texas pitcher Colby Lewis.
With two outs and none on in the bottom of the fifth inning and the Blue Jays holding a 2-0 lead, Rasmus decided to beat the Rangers' defensive shift with a bunt down the third-base line. Lewis attempted to make the play but couldn't catch the Toronto outfielder in time on his throw to first.
As Rasmus reached safely, Lewis let Rasmus know how he felt. You can see a replay of the incident on MLB.com.
Lewis offered his thoughts after the game, per ESPN.com:
I felt like you have a situation where there is two outs, you're up two runs, you have gotten a hit earlier in the game off me, we are playing the shift, and he laid down a bunt basically simply for average. ...
... [Rasmus] didn't steal within the first two pitches to put himself in scoring position. That tells me he is solely looking out for himself, and looking out for batting average. And I didn't appreciate it.
Some are criticizing Lewis on social media for his stance.
Sports Illustrated's Joe Sheehan noted that Lewis is having enough trouble getting left-handed batters out as it is, so maybe he should keep his thoughts to himself in this situation:
Lefties were hitting .402/.444/.598 against Colby Lewis coming into today. The bunt by Rasmus wasn't bad form. It was mercy.— Joe Sheehan (@joe_sheehan) July 20, 2014
Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com believes that Adam Wainwright is now off the hook for his comments about easing up on Derek Jeter at the All-Star Game. He can thank Lewis for that:
Thanks to Colby Lewis' comment, Adam Wainwright is now runnerup for most ill-advised baseball quote of the week.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) July 20, 2014
Baseball is famous for its unwritten rules, and this is another occasion when they're taken to the extreme. Rasmus made what looked like an objectively smart baseball play, and yet the opposing pitcher took exception.
The 39-58 Rangers and 50-48 Blue Jays will finish their three-game set on Sunday.