Paul Skenes Taught Reds’ Elly De La Cruz a Tough Lesson on First Career Pickoff

Screengrab on Twitter/ @MLBONFOX

Don’t run on Pittsburgh Pirates phenom Paul Skenes.

That may have been the takeaway for Cincinnati Reds shortstop Elly De La Cruz during Monday’s game at PNC Park.

De La Cruz, who scored the other day on a botched pickoff attempt, appeared to try something similar against the Pirates on Monday, but Skenes was one step—or rather, one throw—ahead of him.

At the top of the sixth inning, the Reds speedster was caught sneakily inching away from first base, and Skenes performed a swift spin move to pick off one of the game’s top base stealers, recording the first pickoff of his big-league career.

De La Cruz was originally ruled safe, but the call was overturned after the Pirates’ challenge. 

The 22-year-old Skenes allowed six hits and one run through six innings pitched on Monday night. He improved to 4–0 on the season and has a 2.29 ERA.

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Kristen Wong


Kristen Wong is a staff writer on the Breaking and Trending News team at Sports Illustrated. She has been a sports journalist since 2020. Before joining SI in November 2023, Wong covered four NFL teams as an associate editor with the FanSided NFL Network and worked as a staff writer for the brand’s flagship site. Outside of work, she has dreams of running her own sporty dive bar.