Even the most passionate fans couldn’t be blamed for not wanting to watch the Philadelphia Phillies take on the San Diego Padres on Sunday. Both teams are out of the race, and have little to play for the rest of the season.
But dedicated fans who decided to take in the contest were rewarded. In the bottom of the seventh inning, the Phillies managed to pull off a triple play.
It couldn’t have come at a better time. With the Phillies clinging to a one-run lead, San Diego looked to be mounting a comeback. Derek Norris and Jose Rondon both walked to open the frame, putting the tying run on second base.
That brought pinch hitter Jabari Blash to the plate. On the second pitch of the at-bat, Blash hit an 80 mph slider on the ground to third baseman Maikel Franco. Franco scooped up the ball, stepped on third for the first out, fired to second baseman Ceasar Hernandez for the second out and then watched as Hernandez rifled the ball to first baseman Tommy Joseph for the third out.
With that, the Padres comeback hopes were dashed in an instant. The Philles would go on to win the contest 6-5.
While the fans in attendance at Petco Park were probably upset to see a triple play go against the home team, it’s worth noting this was the first ever triple play turned at Petco. In the 13 years the park has been opened, no team had managed the feat before the Phillies on Sunday.
As for the Phillies, it was the franchise’s first triple play since 2009. That occurred during an August 23 game against the New York Mets. Second baseman Eric Bruntlett managed to pull off an unassisted triple play to end the contest. It was only the 15th unassisted triple play in Major League Baseball history.
Philadelphia’s triple play was the sixth turned by a major-league team this season. The Milwaukee Brewers and Washington Nationals are each responsible for one, while the Chicago White Sox have turned three triple plays this year.
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