Pillar explains baserunning mistake

Pillar explains baserunning mistake

NEW YORK -- Kevin Pillar took full responsibility for a baserunning mistake that loomed large in the Blue Jays' 3-2 loss to the Mets on Tuesday night at Citi Field.

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The Blue Jays were threatening in the top of the eighth with runners on first and second when Jose Reyes singled to right field. With the heart of the order coming up and his team trailing by three, coach Tim Leiper made the wise decision to hold Ryan Goins at third base.

But Pillar wasn't watching the play in front of him and instead kept running with his head down. By the time he noticed, it was too late, and with both baserunners in the same vicinity, Pillar was tagged out. Toronto went on to score two runs in the inning, which fell short of what it needed.

"It's as embarrassing as it gets," Pillar said. "We're paid to go out there and perform and not make dumb mistakes, especially late in the game. I went in there and I wanted to help the team do something to win a game.

"When you're facing Matt Harvey, you know you try to keep it close, get to the bullpen. We were in a situation where we had the heart of our order up and we're better off taking our chances with them hitting than trying to get extra bases."

Pillar said that part of his mistake was that he mapped out the scenarios in his head before the Reyes at-bat. As an outfielder, Pillar believed the throw back to the infield would automatically go to second base to avoid the potential tying run from moving up on the play.

But in the end, that's not what happened. The throw went to the cutoff man, and with the Blue Jays not wanting to risk an out on the basepaths, everybody was supposed to stop.

Pillar could have avoided the media after making the out that potentially cost the Blue Jays a shot at the game, but instead he patiently answered questions and made it clear that he was taking the blame and would learn from the error.

"I made a mistake," said Pillar, who singled in his lone at-bat. "Just being aggressive. I happened to see that play from an outfield perspective, not as a baserunning perspective. Just know what I'm going to do as an outfielder in that situation and not throw the ball home, not let the tying run get to second base.

"I made a mistake of not picking up the third-base coach. I ran the scenario in my head before it happened, and I just made a mistake of not picking up the coach."

Gregor Chisholm is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, North of the Border, follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.