By Andrew Kahn
This week’s recap has several rare events: a triple play, a no-hitter, and a straight steal of home. It also has what I think is the catch of the year so far. Enjoy.
Often, a triple play involves precise execution from infielders. That was not the case when the Rockies turned one against the Diamondbacks on Tuesday. The D-back runners were in motion on the pitch, so when Paul Goldschmidt hit a soft liner to Jose Reyes, all the shortstop had to do was flip to second baseman D.J. LeMahieu, who casually tossed to first to complete the 6-4-3 triple play. Video proof:
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If there was ever a “routine” triple play, that was it. It was the fourth such play this season.
And for the sixth time this year, a pitcher has thrown a no-hitter. The latest is Jake Arrieta, who did it against the Dodgers on Sunday night. It was the second time they’d been no-hit in 10 days, a National League record for shortest span between hitless games. Arrieta struck out 12, including all three hitters in the ninth. He allowed his first baserunner on an error in the third and walked one in the sixth. The error was controversial. Here’s the video:
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Arrieta and the Dodgers believed it should have been ruled a hit, but I don’t have a problem with the official scoring. Yes, the ball was smoked, but it was still booted by Starlin Castro. It was a one-hopper and Castro didn’t help himself by leaving his feet. He keep his body in front of the ball but his glove comes up. By the way, for those not paying close attention, Arrieta is now 17-6 with a 2.11 ERA and 190 strikeouts in 183 innings.
Elvis comes home
Keeping with the theme of rare events, Elvis Andrus successfully stole home on Tuesday. Tuesday. The last straight steal of home for the Rangers was in 2000.
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If you pause the video at the 23-second mark it seems impossible that Andrus could make it. But Padres reliever Kevin Quackenbush clearly doesn’t see him until it’s too late. Even given the delay, a perfect throw probably gets Andrus. But it should have never come to that, especially since Quackenbush is a right-hander and therefore faces third base.
You can argue with me about the official scoring at Dodger Stadium, but good luck finding a better catch than Kevin Kiermaier’s on Monday in Baltimore. Give the 25-year-old center fielder the Gold Glove right now:
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Not until the replay is shown do the announcers seem to fully appreciate it. Kiermaier jumps high, fully extends, and holds on while crashing into the wall. Pitcher Chris Archer can’t believe it. Neither can I. This ball had no business getting caught. Manny Machado was truly robbed. Has there been a better defensive play this season?
Walk it out
Bryce Harper, MVP candidate, is a feared hitter. The Braves may have been a bit too fearful on Thursday. They walked Harper in all four of his plate appearances, including once with the bases loaded. Harper scored four runs. Factoring in his RBI, he is the first player to post that stat line since 1914. Even if you throw out the RBI, he is one of just four players in baseball history to score four runs in a game with zero at-bats. Making matters even more impressive (and weird), Harper did not swing at one pitch on Thursday. Atlanta pitchers threw 20 pitches he way and he didn’t offer at one of them! (Several were strikes, but still.)
Andrew Kahn is a regular contributor to CBS Local who also writes for Newsday and The Wall Street Journal. He writes about baseball and other sports at http://andrewjkahn.com. Email him at email@example.com and follow him on Twitter at @AndrewKahn