Miguel Olivo, Professional Catcher

So far this season, Miguel Olivo has thrown out 13 of 36 base-stealers, good for a rate that is well north of the league average. He's had a strong arm his entire career - this isn't a recent development - and the numbers bear it out. Additionally, last night, Olivo hustled and made a good play on a loose ball, recovering and tossing the ball to Charlie Furbush in time to get a runner at the plate. At that point it was just the difference between a 5-1 game and a 6-1 game in the top of the ninth, but that one run wound up almost mattering.

But one wonders how that pitch became a loose ball in the first place. Furbush was pitching to Logan Forsythe with one out and runners on second and third. The count was full when Furbush threw a high fastball that Forsythe swung at and missed.

Furbusholivo_medium

Gameday puts the pitch near the border of the strike zone. It wasn't wildly high, and obviously it wasn't in the dirt and it wasn't a breaking ball. Charlie Furbush threw a fastball at the level of Forsythe's tummy, and it escaped Miguel Olivo far enough for a runner on third to feel brave. It didn't work out for him, but it almost worked out for him, and the important thing is that he thought it could work out for him.

Of course, it was one pitch. Furbush missed with his location. And sometimes things just happen. Michael Saunders let one fly ball hit him in the face. Ichiro lost one fly ball in the sun. Brendan Ryan let one groundball eat him up, and sometimes when conditions are just right, Jonny Venters will allow a home run. So I'm already talking myself out of this because it isn't meaningful and it's just going to fuel the narrative that Miguel Olivo is a catastrophe. But I made this .gif and dammit I'm going to post this .gif and you can make of it what you will. Watch Miguel Olivo stab at and not catch a high fastball! Watch Charlie Furbush follow through like a bird that wasn't prepared to fall off of something! Watch Logan Forsythe fuck up, if you really hate Logan Forsythe! I know there's a group of you out there. Just can't stand that Logan Forsythe.

Olivofurbush

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