"That's a play we've worked on for two springs, and he did everything right but make contact," manager Buck Showalter said. "I think we've averted about five double plays], twice with [Dustin] Pedroia. J.J. [Hardy] took him out one time in the middle, so it's a designed pre-determined thing."
Showalter said most runners in that situation stop and get tagged out, or try to avoid the tag and are called out for leaving the basepath. Meanwhile, the second baseman is used to catching the ball and getting their feet up to avoid the runner, and they will also do that if the runner suddenly slides in the basepath.
"Half the time they don't tag him. They actually miss the tag," Showalter said. "That's what I was asking our replay guy as soon as it happened, 'Did he tag him?'A lot of times, if [the runners] do it properly, you'll see guys slide, get up and go to second base. That's the way we teach it. [Joseph] did everything [right]. He said he couldn't believe he missed him."
Harvey Valentine is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.