The Mets sent Carlos Beltran to the Giants in July, but they were surprisingly unwilling to deal any of their lesser free-agents-to-be, a group that included Chris Capuano, Scott Hairston, Willie Harris, Jason Isringhausen and Tim Byrdak. Today they retained the least expensive member of that bunch for 2012, signing the 37-year-old Byrdak to a one-year extension.
Byrdak, who signed a minor league deal in January after being let go by the Astros two months earlier, has a 2.95 ERA in 68 appearances this season. A true specialist, he’s thrown only 36 2/3 innings. Lefties, though, have his just .202 against him, and he has a 1.50 ERA in 24 innings since June 1.
The value of the deal wasn’t announced, but it’s safe to say it’s somewhere in the $1.2 million-$1.5 million range. Byrdak made $1.6 million last year with Houston, and he’s earned $900,000 with the Mets this season.
Triple plays are rare. Triple plays in which only two players touch the ball are even more rare. But last night the Texas Rangers turned a triple play that was even more rare than that. Indeed, it was the sort of triple play that had not been turned since a couple of months after the Titanic sank.
Here’s how it went down:
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the fourth inning, David Fletcher of the Angels hit a sharp one-hopper, fielded by third baseman Jurickson Profar. He stepped on third, getting the runner on second base in a force out. He then quickly tagged Taylor Ward, who had been on third base but had broken, thinking the ball was going to get through, and who froze before figuring out what to do. Profar then threw to Rougned Odor, who stepped on second to force the runner out who had been on first. Watch:
Like a lot of weird triple plays, not everyone was sure what had happened immediately. Odor, for example, had already made the third out when he touched the bag but he still attempted to tag out the runner from first, likely not yet having processed it all. The announcer wasn’t aware of it either. Understandable given how fast it all happened. It took me a couple of times watching it to figure it all out.
The historic part of it: according to STATS, Inc., it was the first triple play in 106 years in which the batter was not retired. The last time it happened: June 3, 1912, turned by the Brooklyn Dodgers against the Cincinnati Reds.