Of all the weird things that have happened to the New York Mets, from your garden-variety bad breaks of losing guys to various injuries all the way to Omar Minaya’s bizarre confrontation with writer Adam Rubin and Luis Castillo dropping a routine pop-up to lose to the Yankees, perhaps nothing sums up the team’s season better than what just happened at Citi Field about 45 minutes ago.
(Your new hero, Philly)
Trailing 9-7 in the bottom of the ninth inning, the Mets had runners on first and second with nobody out against Phillies closer Brad Lidge, who is pitching more like scared-of-Albert-Pujols Brad Lidge this year than the guy who completely dominated the ‘08 season. New-ish Met Jeff Francoeur stepped up the plate, and on a 2-2 pitch, both runners took off. Frenchy crushed a line drive right up the middle. You probably know what happens next.
UPDATE: Video is now up. Link after the jump.
Let’s let FAITH AND FEAR IN FLUSHING sum it up:
I always said my hope was that sometime in a hopefully long lifetime of watching baseball, I’d get to see an unassisted triple play.
I suppose I might have qualified that a bit.
In other news, it’s not our year.
If you haven’t figured out by now, Francoeur’s liner was snagged by Philly second baseman Eric Brunlett (filling in for Chase Utley). Bruntlett stepped on second for out number two, then reached out and tagged Daniel Murphy to register the 15th unassisted triple play in the history of Major League Baseball. It’s the rarest individual feat in all of baseball — even more than throwing a perfect game, which has been done 18 times.
In fact, 1994 and 1968 are the only other two seasons besides 2009 to feature both a perfect game and a UTP.
It’s only the second time that a UTP ended a game. The other time, according to SABR, was in 1927 when the Tigers’ Johnny Neun pulled it off to secure a 1-0 win over the Indians. The Phillies’ Mickey Morandini did it in 1992, but this was the first time the Mets were involved in such a play in their 47-year history.
And yet, MLB.COM, which can find ways to put up video of plays during games, strangely still hasn’t posted video of the triple play. At least they have footage of Angel Pagan’s amusing lead-off inside-the-park home run, in which Shane Victorino failed to pick up a ball that stuck under the padding in the center field wall because he thought it should’ve been a ground-rule double.
UPDATE: MLB.COM has now posted the video of the play. Here’s the link.