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Doubling into a double play
2007-04-14 19:29
by Bob Timmermann

In Thursday's game between Tampa Bay and Minnesota, Carl Crawford of the Devil Rays batted with Ben Zobrist on first and nobody out in a 2-2 game.

Crawford lined a Joe Nathan pitch to right that was going for extra bases. However, with no one out, Tampa Bay third base coach Tom Foley stopped Zobrist on third. That didn't dissuade Crawford who kept on chugging and suddenly the area around third base got crowded.

The Twins realized this as did Zobrist, who broke for home, where he was caught in a rundown and tagged out. Crawford, apparently not content with staying at third, headed back to second where he was tagged out for a double-double play, 9-4-2-6.

Ted Turocy of Retrosheet found other instances of players doubling into a double play. The most recent occurrence was on June 23, 2004 when David Eckstein and Vladimir Guerrero of the Anaheim Angels were the culprits. In the sixth inning of a game in Anaheim, Eckstein was at first with one out and Guerrero was batting against Mark Redman of Oakland.

Guerrero hit a ball over the head of Mark Kotsay in center and Eckstein tried to score, but Kotsay threw to Bobby Crosby to Damian Miller to nab Eckstein at the plate. But Guerrero wandered too far off of second on the play and was caught in a rundown for an 8-6-2-5-6 DP. Oakland won the game 7-1.

And if you're flashing back to the NL Division Series between the Dodgers and Mets last year when two Dodgers (Jeff Kent and JD Drew) were tagged out at home on a hit, that was scored as a singled for Russell Martin.

The last double into a double play in the NL was on July 31, 2003 when Russell Branyan did it for the Reds. Jason LaRue was thrown at home and Branyan was eventually retired in a rundown with Preston Wilson of Colorado making the final tag. Wilson also made the initial throw in and the DP was scored 8-4-2-5-2-8.

2007-04-14 21:39:13
1.   tjshere
Interesting. I don't suppose it's possible to triple into a triple play?
2007-04-14 21:44:56
2.   Johan
Jason Kendall will figure out a way to do it this year.
2007-04-14 21:49:24
3.   Bob Timmermann
The scoring rules don't allow a triple to be credited if the lead runner is out at home, so that would preclude a triple-triple play.
2007-04-14 22:24:01
4.   BruceR
So Bob, strictly from a scoring standpoint, there's no indication that Crawford was ever on third on this play? BTW, it was also interesting to note that Crawford never put it into high gear on his trip back to second; it was more of a jog. What was he thinking (besides nothing)?
2007-04-14 23:03:49
5.   Bob Timmermann
I believe that since Zobrist was on third, Crawford couldn't get credit for a triple since he wasn't entitled to the base.

I should look at the video, but I'm afraid it would burn my eyes.

2007-04-15 00:33:08
6.   Bob Timmermann
There is video here:

Since Zobrist didn't score, Crawford can't be credited with a triple despite touching third base.

2007-04-15 06:16:34
7.   Andrew Shimmin
The goggles, they do nothing!

How could you post that link, knowing before hand the potential for eye burning? Sounds like willful negligence. Actionable, willful negligence.

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