By Matt Dolloff, CBS Boston
BOSTON (CBS) — The triple play is one of the rarest accomplishments in all of baseball. It’s hard enough to pull off your standard, run-of-the-mill triple play, but the Orioles did it in perhaps the weirdest way you’ll ever see on Tuesday night.
You may have missed it because you were too busy watching Isaiah Thomas make history, but the Orioles turned a triple play during the ninth inning of the Red Sox’ 5-2 win on Tuesday night. You can watch it in the video above. The play obviously didn’t affect the outcome of the game, but it was so bizarre it has to be seen to be believed.
With runners on first and second with no outs, Jackie Bradley Jr. popped up to shallow left field, where Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy misplayed the ball as it hit the ground. The infield fly rule was not called in this instance, so Bradley was not out after the ball landed. Hardy picked up the dropped ball and threw it to second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who tagged out the Red Sox’ Mitch Moreland before he could get back to second base.
Schoop then touched second base to get the force out on Dustin Pedroia and threw the ball to first base to get Bradley, who apparently thought he was already out due to the infield fly rule. Triple play completed.
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A confused John Farrell ran out to talk to the umpire, who told him there was no infield fly called on the play. If the umpire was more definitive at the time, perhaps Bradley wouldn’t have been thrown out at first. Perhaps nobody would have been out.
It’s a good thing the Red Sox held on for the win, because the non-infield fly call could have become quite controversial. But there have been over 700 triple plays turned in major league history, and the Orioles’ miscue morphed into perhaps the weirdest one ever.
Matt Dolloff is a writer/producer for CBSBostonSports.com. Any opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect that of CBS or 98.5 The Sports Hub. Have a news tip or comment for Matt? Follow him on Twitter @mattdolloff and email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.