Saturday, April 3, 2010

2 Phillies Who Performed "2nd Ever" Unassisted Triple Plays

NEW YORK - AUGUST 23:  Eric Bruntlett #4 of th...Image by Getty Images via Daylife

With 2 days left to Opening Day 2010, our 12 Days 'til Baseball Countdown continues with my list of the 2 Philadelphia Phillies who have pulled off the extremely rare feat of completing unassisted triple plays - each of which was the 2nd ever of its kind!

1. Mickey Morandini, 2B, September 10, 1992
In the 6th inning of a game against the Pittsburgh Pirates, Mickey Morandini achieved the feat courtesy of a line drive off the bat of Jeff Kent. Morandini caught the liner (out #1), and stepped on second base before Andy Van Slyke could get back to the bag (out #2). Barry Bonds has taken off from first base at the crack of the bat, and ran right into Morandini's tag for out #3. This play made Morandini only the second secondbaseman in MLB history to pull off the UTP; the other was Cleveland Indians 2B Bill Wambsganss, who did it on October 10, 1920 in Game 5 of that year's World Series against the Brooklyn Dodgers!

2. Eric Bruntlett, 2B, August 23, 2009
By the time Bruntlett achieved his UTP last season, a few other secondbaseman had joined the club. But Bruntlett's play was only the second time in MLB history that a UTP ended a game! In the 9th inning of that day's game against the New York Mets, Jeff Francoeur hit a sharp liner that Bruntlett caught easily as he moved to cover the bag. Stepping on second base to double up Louis Castillo, Bruntlett turned around to find Daniel Murphy trying in vain to reverse momentum and backpedal toward first. It was hard to say who was more surprised when Bruntlett reached out and tagged Murphy for the third out! The only other time a UTP ended a ballgame was May 31, 1927, when Detroit Tiger Johnny Neun became one of the few firstbasemen in history to make the play.

One more day; one more list (can you have a list with one item?) - and then the 2010 Baseball Season is here!

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