The Twilight Zone: Unassisted Triple Play

If you missed this game, I pity you.  Complete insanity.  But let us begin at the beginning:

Going back to New York for the first time since leaving the Mets, Pedro Martinez had an eventful day on the mound. 

P8094583 Martinez.jpg
However, his start on the mound was actually preceded by his first turn at the plate.  The Phillies absolutely destroyed Mets starter Oliver Perez taking him deep twice in the 1st; both Jayson Werth’s and Carlos Ruiz’s homers scored 3 runs each.  Down 6-0 with 2 outs, Perez had to face his old teammate and Martinez stood at the plate while Perez tossed three straight balls to him.  With that 3-0 count, the Mets manager sprung from the dugout and took Perez out of the game mid-batter.  To sum up the inning for Perez: total humiliation.

But the bottom of the 1st inning was no less eventful.  The first batter of the game for the Mets hit what looked like a ground rule double to centerfield.  As the ball jammed itself under the outfield padding, Shane Victorino threw his arms up in the air to tell the umpires that the ball was unplayable.  Raul Ibanez saw that the umpires did not react and quickly snagged the ball and threw home, but the throw arrived too late and Angel Pagan wound up with an inside-the-park home run.  Apparently, Victorino was unaware of the ground rules in the new Citi Field and balls stuck under the padding are still considered playable.

Both sides must have felt like they were entering the Twilight Zone after the weird start to the game.  Martinez looked uncomfortable on the mound and was missing his spots badly.  He allowed 4 runs in the first 3 innings but just when it looked like it was going to be a very bad day for him, Martinez settled in and pitched lights out for the next 3 innings.  He was so good the last two innings, it looked like he might go out for the 7th, but Charlie Manuel decided to go to the bullpen.  The Phillies are probably trying to continue to ease Martinez into longer outings little by little and did not want to risk an injury.

The Phillies scored a few more runs in the game and even Martinez helped himself to a hit and an RBI in the game.  Bruntlett TZ.jpgVictorino took a career high 3 walks in the game and Eric Bruntlett had 3 hits in a rare start at second base.  But the insanity continued into the 9th inning and most of it had to do with Bruntlett.

Bruntlett hit a line drive to right field in the 9th and it was just barely caught by the outfielder; the umpire ruled he trapped the ball and it looked like Eric had a triple.  But the Mets argued and the officials overturned the call; a call that, by the way, was NOT reviewable.  Replays showed he did make the catch but he did not show the transfer from glove to hand to the umpire. 

Then in the bottom of the ninth Brad Lidge took the mound and all hell broke loose.  Ryan Howard missed a ball that rolled past him and gave the Mets a triple when it should have been the first out.  The next batter hit the ball to Bruntlett who bobbled it for error #2; the run scored and still no outs.  Daniel Murphy hit a single to make it 1st and 2nd, still no outs.  And then the unbelievable happened; Jeff Francour, the same Met who caught the Bruntlett liner in the top of the 9th, hit a line drive to guess who?  Eric Bruntlett.  The runners were off on the pitch so Bruntlett caught the ball for one out, stepped on second for the next out and then tagged Murphy to complete the unassisted triple play!  The unassisted triple play to END the game no less.  OMG!

The announcers said that this was the first time ever that an unassisted triple play ended a game; but it is actually the 2nd time.  Johnny Neun did it on 5/31/27 for the Tigers.  But in all of baseball history, it was only the 15th time the unassisted triple play has ever happened.  Two of those have now been completed by Phillies; Mickey Morandini did it on 9/20/92 for the Phils.  You just saw history people; more rare than the no-hitter or even the perfect game; the unassisted triple play – AMAZING. 

Photos by Jenn

 

*Read more about the Phillies at my other home page, Phightin’ Phils Phorum in the My Team Rivals network*

 

 

8 Comments

Jenn, you should be a play-by-play announcer. You made that recap so entertaining I could almost see it. An unassisted triple play – and one that ended the game. Very rare indeed. Sounds like it was one crazy day!

http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

Oh man unassisted triple play. I believe one of my friends was at Citi Field today to witness that feat. Anyways you sure have a nice recap of the game, maybe you should go to Citi Field when the Phillies play there next time, it shouldn’t be a long drive if you live near Philly

Matthew Tang
http://matt7.mlblogs.com/

Thanks for the great recap, Jenn. I was on the road and only heard about this play after the fact. Amazing! Just another routine save for Lidge, lol. Reminded me a little of Lidge’s division clinching save vs. the Nationals last year – a product of great fielding moreso than great pitching.

That play (and the two proceeding it) is why baseball is so great. I couldn’t have dreamed that up myself.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

The 2nd time in MLB history that has happened, to end a game. 2nd time! Wow, what a great feat accomplished by Bruntlett, see you should’ve kept him. :)
http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

All I can say about that play is this: you never know what you’re gonna see at a ballgame.
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

What an amazinggggg play!! And the fact that it was against the Phillie’s rival team the Mets, only made it sweeter for Phillies fans.

–Melissa
http://redsox46.mlblogs.com/

Jenn, you took the words right out of my mouth. Yesterday was indeed the twilight zone. We were only missing Rod Serling at the end of that game. Man, I’m still can’t believe it happened, and I’d saw the blasted play unfold.
http://philliesredpinstripes.mlblogs.com/

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