Pittsburgh Pirates third baseman Ke’Bryan Hayes is one of the brightest young players in the game. Since returning from a wrist injury last week, he is 7 for 18 (.389) with three extra-base hits in four games. Hayes is a .370/.423/.694 career hitter in 30 MLB games. Tuesday night against the Dodgers (GameTracker), Hayes opened the scoring with an opposite field solo home run against righty Walker Buehler. It was a 97 mph fastball at the knees and Hayes sent it over the high right field wall at PNC Park.
A veteran approach and a gorgeous piece of hitting from the rookie. It gets no better.
Alas, the home run did not count. Hayes failed to touch first base as he rounded the bases, and was called out after the Dodgers reviewed the play. Officially, it goes into the books as Hayes flying out to Buehler. Here’s the video:
Stepping on the bases as you trot out a home run is not too much to ask, but this is an unnecessarily rule. No one’s gaining an advantage by missing a base on a home run trot. That said, the rule is the rule, and there’s no excuse for Hayes. He just screwed up.
But wait! There’s more. Because one baserunning blunder isn’t bad enough, Hayes was thrown out at second base trying to advance on a Bryan Reynolds fly all to left field in the third inning. AJ Pollock threw Hayes out by a good margin.
Only three innings into the game, Hayes was halfway to the baserunning mistake cycle. Now he just needs to make outs at third base and home.
You may remember that earlier this year Cody Bellinger passed Justin Turner on the bases during a home run trot, which is another no-no. At least that rule makes sense. Bellinger was called out and his two-run home run became a one-run single. It’s been an interesting year for home runs in Dodgers games.
Whenever his career comes to end, Hayes will have one fewer home run and one fewer RBI than he should, all because he missed first base on a June night in 2021. I reckon Hayes will never make that mistake in his career again.