If you managed to stay awake for the ending of the Nationals game against the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, then you got to see a little piece of Major League Baseball history, and a fairly large piece of Washington Nationals history.
In the bottom of the 9th inning up 4-1, the Nationals loaded the bases and the Giants were threatening. Brandon Crawford came up to bat and it looked like yet another blown save situation for the Nats. Crawford hit a line drive off Sammy Solis, and “here we go again” was my only thought. Then Ryan Zimmerman caught the ball, doubled off the runner at first and to everyone’s amazement lobbed a rainbow toss to Anthony Rendon at third.
Players in the dugout looked confused, Solis seemed bewildered, and the Giants’ base runners looked like a herd of puzzled sheep. In fact Zimmerman and Rendon seemed like the only two people on or off the diamond who had any clue what was happening. In any situation like that it would make sense for Zimmerman to throw home and try to get the runner out there, but thankfully he had the situational awareness to realize that an arching throw across the diamond would result in the first 3-3-5 triple play in MLB history and the first triple play in Nats history.
Mostly, we like to write about some sort of overarching storyline throughout the season and tie them into the story of the game. But every so often there is something that happens within a game that makes it stand alone as a worthwhile story.
Unfortunately the way that this game ties into recent storylines is that a piece of excellent fielding saved a struggling bullpen being the headline again. But this being the first triple play in Nats history, let’s look at the positives rather than the negatives.
It remains to be seen whether the Nationals will make a move for a bullpen arm at the deadline, but something will eventually have to give because we can’t expect historic triple plays to come along too often.Tags: Anthony Rendon, Nationals, Nats, Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals