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Bruntlett Turns A Triple Play?


I know what you're thinking, because I was thinking it too. Don't deny it. This one had "blown save" written ALL over it. And for once, you couldn't pin ANYTHING on Brad Lidge. The inning started with a line drive that somehow bounced in between the legs of a crouching Ryan Howard.  Eric Bruntlett, just yesterday the whipping boy in my article concerning the Philles and their rather weak bench, boots two ground balls that literally had me screaming like a raging lunatic at my television. There should be two outs. One more and the Phils go home with a win, right?  False.

I know what you're thinking.  Atlanta all over again, right?  Wrong again.......

God bless Jerry Manuel and the hit and run. When you're as bad as the New York Mets, you'll try ANYTHING to get the ball rolling. Or in this case, get the ball up the middle. And Jeff Francoeur did just that with a line drive SMACK into Bruntlett's glove. With his foot practically on second base, he then chased Daniel Murphy for a few seconds before tagging him out to end the game with your typical unassisted triple play.  Oh by the way, it was just the 15th in the long history of Major League Baseball, and only the second to EVER end a game.  I know you ALL remember when Johnny Neun of the Detroit Tigers beat the Indians with this feat in 1927.............

In all seriousness, this game was crazy from the start. Phillies starter Pedro Martinez returns to New York, a manager removed his starting pitcher after he worked a 3-0 on the opposing pitcher, a long relief appearance from Nelson Figueroa, and an inside the park home run that was lodged under the outfield wall.  Talk about random.

And how about Eric Bruntlett?  With the triple play he pulled off yesterday, my theory is complete that there has never been more of a below average player in the majors who has accomplished as many memorable feats as he has.  Just take a look:

- A home run in a World Series game

- Scoring two game-winning runs in a World Series (including a series-winning run)

- Becoming only the 2nd player in baseball history to end a game by turning an unassisted triple play

That my friends, is the true beauty of baseball. To take a line from Joaquin Andujar: "You never know." Of all the contests ever played in the history of this long game, what transpired in the closing moments at Citi Field on Sunday afternoon had only happened one previous time. Ever.

Crazy game indeed.


Photo: Associated Press