The Indians turned an incredible triple play last night against the Dodgers. On some level, every triple play is incredible, but this one was especially so.
It began with Michael Brantley making a routine catch in left field to retire the batter, Adrian Gonzalez. The ball was not hit that deep, but the runner on the third was Dee Gordon, one of the fastest players in the game, and he took off for home. Dr. Smooth delivered a perfect throw (as he often does) and nailed Gordon at the plate for his league-leading 10th outfield assist of the season and the second out of the play. Yasiel Puig was on first base, and as he so often does, he decided to be aggressive, and took off for second when he saw that catcher Yan Gomes was busy being happy about the second out. Gomes realized what was going on and threw to Jason Kipnis, who applied the tag just in the nick of time for the third out.
Puig was initially called safe, but Francona challenged that call, and upon review, the call was changed. Then Don Mattingly challenged the call at home plate, thinking maybe Gordon had been safe. Replay did not support his argument though, and after more than five minutes of waiting, the whole thing was officially ruled a triple play, making it the first triple play ever to require multiple replay reviews.
It was the 33rd triple play in franchise history, and the team's first since 2011.
It was also only the 22nd triple play in MLB history to begin with a catch by a left fielder, and just the 6th to start with a catch in left field, followed by a throw to home plate. The other four: The Cubs did it in 1910, the Phillies did it in 1913, the Indians did it in 1928 (that was Charlie Jamieson throwing to Luke Sewell), the Reds did it in 1931, and the White Sox did it in 1986.
That means the Indians are one of two American League franchises ever to have a triple play that began 7-2, and the first in 28 years. Only the White Sox play mentioned above was also a 7-2-4, making last night only the second such play in MLB history.
Here is video of the play:
The Indians have been doing some other historic things lately, but it's nice to see a good one for a change.