Glaus makes crucial play in cameo at third
Infielder began game-saving double play to end 10th inning
SAN FRANCISCO -- Braves infielder Troy Glaus spent his first 11 Major League seasons regarded as a sound defensive third baseman. But the position seemed like foreign soil when the Braves were suddenly forced to put the 13-year veteran at the hot corner during the 10th inning of Friday night's 5-4, 11-inning win over the Giants in Game 2 of the National League Division Series.
In fact, the adrenaline of the moment was so overwhelming that Glaus admitted later that he nearly vomited after beginning a clutch double play that extended the game long enough for Rick Ankiel to deliver the decisive 11th-inning homer into the water beyond the right-field wall at AT&T Park.
"It was third base, and I've done it for a long time," Glaus said. "I just tried to remind myself of that and said, 'You know how to do this, and whatever happens, happens.'"
Glaus began this season adapting to the unfamiliar first-base position and didn't reintroduce himself to third base until he spent the final week of August with Triple-A Gwinnett. His only two innings at third base at the Major League level this year came during a convincing Sept. 8 win in Pittsburgh.
Attempting to test Glaus' mobility, the Giants began the 10th inning with Edgar Renteria's perfectly placed bunt single.
As fate would have it, the baseball found Glaus again when Buster Posey delivered a one-out, bases-loaded grounder to the left side. The Braves veteran fielded it cleanly, and instead of nailing the potential winning run at the plate, he opted to throw to second base.
"If it was hit hard, I was going to second. If it was hit soft, I was going home," Glaus said.
Fortunately for the Braves, Omar Infante leaned to his right to grab the throw and then fired to first base to complete the inning-ending double play.
"Omar did a great job," Glaus said. "He kept his foot on the bag with a bit of a stretch. Omar has a left-side-of-the-infield arm. He got on top of it, threw a seed to first [base] and it all worked out."
With Chipper Jones and Martin Prado both sidelined, the Braves have been utilizing Infante as their starting third baseman. They moved Infante to second base when the bottom of the 10th began, because Brooks Conrad had been removed as part of a double switch.
Mark Bowman is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.