Fresh off a message-sending sweep of the AL West rival Astros, the Rangers went to Chicago and … splat.
Three losses. Only four runs in 29 innings. And Friday night they played the victim in the one of the most bizarre triple plays I’ve ever seen.
Would you believe 9-3-2-6-2-5? To add to the absurdity, the Rangers had the bases loaded.
The play, which likely made the rounds on TV talk shows over the weekend, and even this morning, began with a screaming liner down the right-field line off the bat of Mitch Moreland. Then, things got crazy. And they didn’t stop until a Rangers’ 7th-inning rally was snuffed out en route to a 5-0 loss at U.S. Cellular Field.
Adam Eaton snared Moreland’s drive, then threw to 1st base attempting to double-up Ian Desmond. Adrian Beltre at 2nd also tagged but, at 3rd, inexplicably, Prince Fielder did not. Chicago’s Jose Abreu took Eaton’s throw and tagged Desmond before firing to home.
Upon Abreu’s throw home, the White Sox got Fielder caught between home and 3rd and Beltre between 3rd and 2nd. With two rundowns working at the same time, it took Chicago four throws to finally cap the play with 3rd baseman Todd Frazier tagging Fielder.
It was the first time Texas hit into a triple play since 1991 and Chicago’s first on defense in more than 10 years.
Said an elated Eaton, who commenced the crazy play, “Besides marrying my wife and the birth of my kid, to be honest with you that’s high up there. It’s unbelievable, I’ve never had that much fun on a ball field.”
The play, of course, could have been avoided.
Fielder should have tagged and headed for home upon seeing Moreland’s liner. That would’ve forced Eaton to throw to the plate, not behind Desmond at 1st. I know the Rangers are an aggressive base-running team, but their part in the play was just bad. And, ultimately, historic.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.