The Spectacle Blog

A Double Take on Triple Plays

By on 8.16.11 | 11:07PM

Last night I was watching the MLB Network (as I often do) and they were showcasing the Milwaukee Brewers turning a triple play against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

I told my roommate Christopher that in more than thirty years of watching the big leagues on TV, I had only seen a triple play turned once. It was on August 10, 2003 when shortstop Rafael Furcal (then a member of the Atlanta Braves) did it unassisted off the bat of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Woody Williams. Interestingly, Furcal recently became a member of the Cardinals.

Twenty-four hours after telling my roomie I had only ever seen one triple play turned, I did take a double take when I saw the Boston Red Sox turn a triple play in the fourth inning of the second game of a doubleheader against the Tampa Bay Rays. Tampa Bay shortstop Sean Rodriguez hit a groundball to Red Sox third baseman Jed Lowrie who tagged the third base bag, threw the ball onto second baseman Dustin Pedroia who tossed it to first baseman Adrian Gonzalez. It was the first time the Red Sox had turned a triple play since John Valentin completed an unassisted triple play in 1994. Still, the Sox lost the game 6-2.

Of course, the Red Sox have found themselves on the wrong end of a triple play. Well, two to be exactly. On July 17, 1990, the Fenway faithful saw the Minnesota Twins turn two triple plays against the Red Sox in the same game. Nevertheless, the Sox squeezed out a 1-0 win.

So will there be a triple play turned tomorrow night? In May 1927, the St. Louis Browns, Chicago Cubs and Detroit Tigers turned triple plays on consecutive nights. Well, things often come in threes.

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