On Thursday night the Texas Rangers turned a triple play so rarely seen that the fielders didn’t even realize they had recorded three outs.
The Rangers played host to the Los Angeles Angels, and David Fletcher came to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs.
He hit a hard grounder to third base, which ignited one of the craziest plays you’ll ever see.
Third baseman Jurickson Profar made a diving grab and immediately got to his feet to step on third base (out No. 1) for the force out.
He then tagged the runner who was on third base (out No. 2), Taylor Ward. Ward must have been confused as he had reached base safely before Profar got to him, but he then started backpedaling for some reason, which enabled Profar to tag him out.
Profar then threw the ball to the second baseman, Rougned Odor, who was standing on the second base bag for the force out (out No. 3) of the runner on first. But Odor didn’t know what was going on, either, as he then ran to tag the base runner stranded between first and second, even though he had just recorded the third out.
Afterward, the entire Texas infield was standing around wondering if they still needed another out or if the half-inning was over. They then realized they had recorded three outs as they held up three fingers and began their trot off the field.
The Rangers won’t the only ones confused as the Angels were dumbfounded as well. Ward clearly didn’t know what was going on when he willingly left third base, while the runner who was on second base, Eric Young Jr., also didn’t realize he was out.
Young, who is a 10-year MLB vet, started sprinting from second base to third base without realizing that he was the first one out when Profar stepped on the third base bag. Likewise, Kole Calhoun, the runner who was on first, didn’t realize he was forced out at second base as he tried to avoid a tag in a rundown by Odor.
No one had any idea what just happened, but that is understandable considering the rarity of this feat: It was first MLB triple play without the batter being retired in 106 years.
It was the first MLB triple play without the batter being retired since June 3, 1912, when the Dodgers did so against the Reds.#TexasRangers
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) August 17, 2018
After the game, Profar explained why he was the only one who knew what was going on, and why everyone else was so confused.
“Every runner thought it was a line drive, that’s why we got a triple play,” Profar said. “I wasn’t sure why the runner at first base didn’t run, either, so they thought it was a line drive.”
This was the second triple play recorded by any team in the 2018 season. It was also the sixth triple play in Rangers history and their first since 2009.
Even rarer, this was just the third 5-4 triple play since the expansion era began in 1961. The others came in games in 2006 and 2007.
The Rangers were down 6-3 at the time of the play and their win expectancy doubled from 11.1 percent to 23.5 percent after the triple play. They would rally later in the game and would prevail over the Angels 8-6.
Truth and Accuracy
We are committed to truth and accuracy in all of our journalism. Read our editorial standards.