Yesterday, in a 5-2 win over the Orioles, the New York Yankees turned one of the most unusual triple plays in MLB history. It took place in the eighth inning and went like this:
The Orioles’ Nick Markakis and Alexi Casilla started off the inning with singles against Yankee starter C.C. Sabathia – putting runners on first and second with no outs. Manny Machado then hit a sharp one-hopper to second baseman Robinson Cano, who tossed to shortstop Jayson Nix to force Markakis for out number one; meanwhile, Casilla had headed toward third and was now in “no-man’s land” between the bases; Nix tossed to Yanks’ third baseman Kevin Youkilis to start a rundown that saw Youkilis throw to Nix and then Nix back to Youkilis who applied the tag; the hitter, Machado, looking to take advantage of the rundown, had rounded first and was now in his own “no-man’s land;” Youkilis threw to first baseman Lyle Overbay, cutting off Machado’s path of retreat; Overbay then fired to Cano, who tagged out Machado at second.
In the scorebooks, it went 4-6-5-6-5-3-4.
All of the subsequent triple play media talk reminded BBRT of the day in 1990 (July 17) when BBRT’s Twins became the only team to turn two triple plays in one game. They came in the fourth and eighth innings of a game against the Red Sox and both were of the most traditional variety. In the fourth, with the bases loaded, former Twin (then Boston right fielder) hit a ground ball to Twins’ third sacker Gary Gaetti, who stepped on the bag and threw to second baseman Al Newman (for out number two), who relayed to first baseman Kent Hrbek to complete the triple play. In the eighth, with runners on first and second, Red Sox second baseman Jody Reed grounded to Gaetti at third, and the around-the-horn triple play was duplicated. The Twins, despite the triple killings, lost the contest 1-0 on an unearned run.
Other triple play factoids of interest to BBRT”
- Hall of Famer Brooks Robinson holds the MLB record for hitting into triple plays with four;
- In 1962, Mets’ catcher Joe Pignatano ended his six-year MLB playing career by hitting into a triple play in his final at bat;
- Ron Wright, in April 2002, had a one-game MLB career as a Designated Hitter for the Seattle Mariners. He garnered three at bats – striking out, hitting into a triple play and hitting into a double play. Three at bats – six outs – one MLB career.
By the way, Wright was a “glass-half-full” kind of guy, who always referred to his one MLB game as “the best day of my professional life.” For more on Wright, who was a legitimate prospect, see BBRT’s post April 28, 2012 – when BBRT took a look at the best and worst one-game MLB careers.
A little rant here. We are seeing lots of “noise” around the recent injury to Zach Greinke, when Carlos Quentin charged the mound after being hit by a pitch. BBRT noted that almost every bit of sports coverage, in the first or second paragraph, notes that the Dodgers lost their “$147-million pitcher.” Would we be seeing all this concern, and calls for rules changes and lengthy suspensions, if the injured hurler had been a journeyman middle reliever? BBRT regrets the injury to Greinke, but sees a lot of over-reaction out there.
All this mound-charging debate took BBRT back to July 17, 1956, when Giants’ pitcher Ruben Gomez beaned red-hot Milwaukee slugger (first baseman) Joe Adcock twice in one plate appearance. In the second inning of a Giants’ 11-inning 8-6 win, Gomez hit Adcock (who had hit eight home runs in the past ten games) in the wrist with a pitch.
As Adcock trotted to first, words were exchanged and the 6’4”, 210-pound slugger rushed the mound. The 6’, 170-pound Gomez – who had already received a new ball from the umpire – selected his weapon, firing the horsehide at Adcock and hitting him (a second time) in the left thigh. As players poured from the dugouts, Gomez, unlike Greinke, thought better of facing his larger and angrier opponent – taking flight into and through the Giants’ dugout, all the way to the locker room. As reported in “The Milwaukee Braves – A Baseball Eulogy,” Adcock charged right into the Giants’ dugout in pursuit, but was restrained by New York players and coaches – who were joined by uniformed police officers trying to restore order. Quick-thinking organist Jane Jarvis broke into an impromptu rendition of “The Star Spangled Banner,” which quelled the disturbance.
When the game resumed, both Gomez and Adcock had been ejected and police officers were stationed (temporarily) in front of the Giants’ dugout. (It has also been reported that Gomez had retrieved an ice pick from the clubhouse, but was disarmed and disuaded by teammates before he could return to the field.) Associated Press reports indicated that, after the game, both Gomez and Adcock agreed the incident was best forgotten. Hmm? Advice for today’s Dodgers and Padres?
EARLY SEASON SURPRISES – ALTHOUGH TOO EARLY TO DRAW ANY CONCLUSIONS
- Red Sox and Yanks atop the AL East, Blue Jays in last place – although only 1 ½ games separate the pack.
- Kansas City leading the AL Central – and Detroit 5-5 after ten games.
- Oakland proving to be “real” at 9-2, loaded Angels starting at 2-8.
- Many-Snow-Ta weather – which really shouldn’t surprise Twins’ fans at all.
- Arizona atop the NL West (although the favored Giants are only ½ game out).
- Atlanta and Washington atop NL East.
- St. Louis and Cincinnati heading up NL Central.