Friday, August 23, 2013

Bruntlett Turns Unassisted Triple Play

On Aug. 23, 2009, tensions were high both on and off the field the entire weekend, and on Sunday it looked like the Phillies would take their second game in a row going into the ninth. That’s when things got interesting.

With the Mets at bat, down 9-6, no outs and Pagan on third base, Luis Castillo grounded a ball to second, but Eric Bruntlett couldn’t handle it and Castillo would beat out a late throw 

Daniel Murphy stepped to the plate next and it was deja vu all over again.  

A grounder to Bruntlett which he once again could not handle.  

The tying run was now on base and a nightmare was unfolding right in front of the Phillies’ second baseman’s eyes, but it didn’t seem as though he could do anything about it.

And then it happened.

A line drive off the bat of Francoeur headed to Bruntlett at second base.  

With the runners going, he made the catch for one out, touched second for another, and tagged Murphy who was caught in a hit-and-run.  

One man, three outs.  

It was only the fifteenth unassisted triple play in Major League history, and only the fifth time it had been completed by a second baseman.

No player has completed the feat since Bruntlett, however there are three other current major league players who have completed the feat including Asdrubal Cabrera, Rafael Furcal and the Bay Area born prospect Troy Tulowitzki. Of note is that the three previously mentioned players are all shortstops.

The most unassisted triple plays by position comes at shortstop with eight, second is second base with five, followed by first base with two. No player at any other position in Major League Baseball has completed an unassisted triple player.

The complete list of players to turn an unassisted triple play in chronological order include; Neal Ball, Bill Wambsganss, George Burns, Ernie Padgett, Glenn Wright, Jimmy Cooney, Johnny Neun, Ron Hansen, Mickey Morandini, John Valentin, Randy Velarde, Furcal, Tulowitzki, Cabrera and Bruntlett.