The Cardinals won on Sunday afternoon, but it didn’t matter as the Giants took care of their own business, taking down the Dodgers 7-1 to clinch the second Wild Card in the National League.
Dodgers starter Kenta Maeda didn’t stand a chance on this particular afternoon, surrendering five runs on nine hits and two walks with three strikeouts before departing with two outs in the third inning. Buster Posey opened the scoring with a two-run single in the first. Denard Span brought home two runs with a triple in the second and would come around to score on another Posey single shortly thereafter, staking the Giants to an early 5-0 lead.
Yasmani Grandal put the Dodgers on the board with an RBI single off of Matt Moore in the fourth, but that would be it the rest of the way. The Giants tacked on two more runs in the eighth inning on RBI singles by Hunter Pence and Brandon Crawford.
Moore went eight innings, yielding the one run on three hits and two walks with six strikeouts on 107 pitches. Sergio Romo came on in the ninth to seal the deal. He worked around a leadoff single by Andre Ethier by getting Austin Barnes to line out, striking out Yasiel Puig, and inducing a game-ending fly out from Rob Segedin.
The Giants will travel to New York to face the Mets in the National League Wild Card game.
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.