Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 7/16/12
Padres-cabrera-fouls-off

"I wanted to try something different," Everth Cabrera said Saturday night while explaining a play that major league baseball hadn't witnessed for 30 seasons.

Cabrera was standing off third in the ninth inning Saturday night with the Padres down by a run and down to their final strike. When Dodgers reliever Kenley Jansen turned his back to the plate to clean the dirt out of his cleats, Cabrera took off for home.

Not only did Cabrera steal home to tie the game, he drew a wild throw from Jansen that allowed Will Venable to follow him to the plate with the winning run.

Cabrera's steal of home marked the first time in nearly 30 years that a major league team has won a regular-season game in which either the tying or go-ahead run scored on a steal of home in the ninth inning or later. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the last time it happened was on Aug. 22, 1982. Cardinals catcher Glenn Brummer dashed home in the 12th inning, beating the pitch from Giants pitcher Gary Lavelle, to give St. Louis a 5-4 win.

Now, here's the strangest part -- Cabrera called his shot. He said he told Dodgers third baseman -- and former Padres teammate -- Jerry Hairston Jr. that he was going to steal home.

"I told Hairston I was going to steal home and he didn't believe me," Cabrera said Sunday morning. "He said, 'go ahead and try it.'"

Cabrera said he started plotting his steal during Jansen's 11-pitch duel with Cameron Maybin, which ended with the center fielder striking out. Not only was the deliberate Jansen taking a long time between pitches, he was turning his back to the plate after every pitch.

"I didn't see him watch me," said Cabrera. "Each pitch, I would move off a little more to see what he would do. With one pitch to go until the game was over, I thought I would go for it."

Cabrera knew he was taking a risk and knew he would have to explain himself if he had been thrown out.

"That's how I play," he said. "If he makes a good throw, I am out. There was a lot of pressure. I felt it. But I had stole home in the minor leagues and once in a spring training game. Surprise was on my side. What surprised me more than stealing home was seeing Will right behind me. Will won the game."

Padres manager Bud Black supported Cabrera's play -- and probably would have even if the speedy infielder had been thrown out. "I'd rather have players pushing the envelope," said Black. "Cabby is a daring baserunner. If he had been thrown out, we'd have talked. But as long as there is a thought process, a lot of times you can live with it."

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