Sometimes, you go to the ballpark and see something that has never been seen before. Like the Minnesota Twins turning a kind of triple play that has never been recorded in MLB history.
Facing the Chicago White Sox with no outs and men on first and second in the seventh inning, Twins pitcher Griffin Jax gave up what looked like a tiebreaking three-run homer, or at least an extra-base hit, to AJ Pollock. Twins catcher Ryan Jeffers seemed to think so, immediately sinking forward when he saw the contact.
And then, well, Buxton made a very good play, while the White Sox baserunners made a very bad play.
Adam Engel had started the play on second while Yoan Moncada was on first. Buxton made a highlight-reel while neither baserunner tagged up, then got the ball in quick enough for Twins third baseman Gio Urshela to tag Moncada between second and third and tag second to get Engel out.
It was the first 8-5 triple play on record in MLB history, according to MLB.com’s Sarah Langs.
To be fair to the White Sox, Statcast had Pollock’s fly ball as a 389-foot knock with an .820 xBA, basically an 82 percent chance of being a hit. Then again, that still leaves an 18 percent chance of a very embarrassing mistake, a historic one at that.
The face of White Sox manager Tony La Russa really says it all.
That it was Buxton who started a first-of-its-kind triple play shouldn’t be a surprise. The 28-year-old has long been one of the best outfielders in the game when healthy, both in arm and in range. He was also responsible for the Twins’ only runs up to that point, hitting a two-run homer in the fifth inning.
Buxton’s 22 homers tie him for fourth in the American League, with a .227/.302/.576 slash line on the season. Between his power and his fielding, he remains a candidate for a first career All-Star nod this month.