Going into yesterday’s game, Travis Shaw, hadn’t committed an error since April 26th. That is an incredible feat considering how much action Milwaukee’s everyday third baseman gets over at the “hot corner.” That almost changed on July 4th.
Shaw, who has been able to keep his head in the game in spite of his newborn daughter having open heart surgery less than a month ago, has become a fan favorite and a top contributor on offense as well as on defense for the Crew. Quite a few of his plays have shown up on Brewers defensive highlight films because of his poise and athletic ability.
During the game, the Orioles had runners on first and second, and the batter hit a ground ball to third. Shaw picked it cleanly, stepped on third, and then planted with the intention of throwing to second. When he looked up and saw how close the runner was, he changed his mind and fired to first. The ball got there in plenty of time to beat the runner and record the out, but it glanced off of the webbing of Eric Thames glove and went all the way to the wall behind him. The error was initially charged to Shaw on the throw and the Brewers commentators pointed out that it looked like Thames’ feet were out of position, and had he made the catch, the runner would have been out. It was a great thought, but that was how the call stood during the game.
In most cases, that would be that. However, as we have learned about Eric Thames, he is not only a terrific ballplayer, he is also a stand up guy. After the game, the power hitting first baseman called the league office and told them that it was his mistake and that he hoped they would reverse their decision and give the error to him. The league agreed.
Not only was that a nice gesture from one teammate to another, it was a decision that could actually lead to team history. After the change, Shaw’s errorless streak has been restored to 53 consecutive games.