It's one of those things you don't often see in baseball.
While home runs are the ultimate for an offensive player, they happen often. And a perfect game is the ultimate for a pitcher, with the no-hitter not far behind.
Efforts like those are memorialized, but the ultimate play a defensive player can be a part of is a triple play. Nothing better is possible than starting a play with no outs and finishing it with the inning complete.
A rare feat
That's why, well, it's a rarity. Teams play it too safe in the Moneyball era to be giving away outs like that. On Tuesday night, however, it happened in Los Angeles. And it took two replays to prove it happened.
It was the bottom of the fourth inning and the Dodgers' Adrian Gonzalez drove a ball to left field. Indians outfielder Michael Brantley ran in to catch in and immediately threw to the plate, where Dodgers speedster Dee Gordon was headed on the tag.
Brantley's throw made it on time and catcher Yan Gomes made the tag. Meanwhile, Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig decided to head from first to second after the play at the plate.
Gomes didn't see it right away, instead celebrating the tag at home. But, when he did, he fired the ball to Jason Kipnis at second base and Kipnis tagged out Puig. Bang, bang, bang.
An Awesome Play
"That was awesome," Indians right fielder David Murphy told MLB.com. "I don't know if we'll ever see one like that again."
The problem was that the umpire didn't call it that way initially. He ruled Puig, who was charging hard and dove headfirst into second base, safe.
"I thought I had him," Kipnis told MLB.com. "So I called for the challenge."
The challenge ruled he was out, which led Dodgers manager Don Mattingly to then challenge the play at home on the call that Gordon was tagged out.
"I was worried," Brantley told MLB.com. "Obviously, they had a lot of time to look at it in their dugout. So once you challenge, I didn't know if I threw him out at home or not. I didn't actually see the throw. I kind of did a tumble and that was the last of it."
Triple plays just don't happen that often, there are even websites to commemorate all of them. The last one for the Indians came in 2011 against the White Sox.
In 2008, Asdrubal Cabrera had an even rarer feat with the 14th unassisted triple play in major league history. On that play, Cabrera made a diving catch near second base, stood on the bag for the second out and then tagged the runner heading to second for the third out.
This time, it was more of a standard triple play, if that actually exists. And it helped rookie pitcher Kyle Crockett get out of a jam and earn his second win with the only three outs he recorded.
"It couldn't have gone any better," Crockett told MLB.com. "That was awesome. It just shows the type of team effort that baseball takes. To have it all come together with the great from Brantley, the great throw from Yan. It was just incredible to be a part of."
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