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Alexei Ramirez takes a 3-0 pitch ... out of the park

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He almost never swings on such counts, but unusual choice on Friday results in grand slam

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Before he came to the plate with the bases loaded against Brandon McCarthy on Friday, Alexei Ramirez had seen 153 3-0 counts in his career.

You can count on two-fifths of one hand how many times he's put the ball in play in such situations. Both attempts resulted in groundouts to the left side of the infield, and both against the Royals -- once in 2012, and once in 2013.

Of course, that doesn't mean he's only swung at two pitches in his career. For instance, there was this game from almost exactly one year ago, when Ramirez swung at C.J. Wilson's 3-0 pitch and fouled it off, then swung at the next pitch and drilled a single. It's a lot harder to track those instances down on Baseball-Reference.com.

Traditionally, though, when Ramirez gets a three-ball count, he doesn't take all the way -- he Takes All The Way. The example I could find most quickly was the Sad Sam Deduno game from 2012:

Ramirez_30_medium

In that case, though, the bases were empty. What about a time where he had a 3-0 count with the bases loaded? We all remember the last time he drove in a run with a walk. I don't even need to tell you the date (June 9, 2011) or the pitcher (Oakland's Trevor Cahill), but we may not recall just how Ramirez took the walk.

Ramirez_30_walk_medium

As long as we've known him, Ramirez is more likely to check text messages than swing the bat when he falls into a 3-0 count. Maybe it's because it's the one time he can switch off the aggression and still get results, but whatever the reason, he almost always chooses to make the pitcher prove he can throw a strike.

That said, Hawk Harrelson -- always a fan of attacking a fastball when the pitcher's back is against the wall -- didn't give up hope. He answered Steve Stone's question before he asked it, and they ended up setting up the moment beautifully.

Hawk: 3-and-0.

[pause]

Hawk: Yes.

Hawk: Is the answer.

[Hawk and Stone both laugh]

Stone: Well.

Hawk: Yes is the answer.

Stone: He's mostly likely going to throw him a fastball.

Then they waited as McCarthy came to a set, and Ramirez took it from there by not taking:

In the middle of the clubhouse leader for Most Fun Inning of the Year, Harrelson and Stone created the Broadcast Moment of the Year to date. All it took was a trap Ramirez had been setting for six years.

And they say he isn't patient at the plate ...