This Historic 2-5-6-3 Triple Play Sure Was Confusing
April 16 / Eric Goldschein / SportsGrid
The Dodgers turned a triple play in the 9th inning yesterday, which is a rarity in itself. A 2-5-6-3 triple play is even rarer -- in fact, it was the first of its kind, ever. But a 2-5-6-3 triple play in which nobody is really sure what the hell is going on? That's a true gem.
With two runners on in the top of the 9th, Jesus Guzman of the Padres stepped to the plate. With nobody out at this point, the smart play would be to lay down a sacrifice bunt, which Guzman attempted. It was then that all hell broke loose:
Confusingly, home plate umpire Dale Scott threw up his hands -- not once, but twice -- after the ball hit the bat, which usually signifies a dead ball. But once catcher A.J. Ellis picked up the ball, Scott pointed to it, ruling it live. Thus: an historic, awesome, rally-killing triple play.
For the Padres baserunners, it was a tough break. The umpire seemed to signal a dead ball -- even though, in reality, this was definitely a live ball and the Dodgers were perfectly correct to follow through on the play. In the end, that's what made this happen: the Dodgers followed through, as they should, and the Padres did not, which is a bummer (for them).
After the game, as if to confuse and infuriate us even more, the MLB issued this statement (via Gaslamp Ball):
"After review and discussion with the umpire, we have determined that the call itself of a fair ball was correct. However, while making the call, there was an incorrect mechanic, which appeared to confuse San Diego's base runners. At no time did the umpire verbally kill the play on the field. After reviewing the entire situation following the game, the umpire realizes his hands were in an exaggerated upward appearance similar to a call that would indicate a dead ball. While we all agree that it was a fair ball that did not hit the batter, the umpire recognizes that the proper mechanic was not executed as he tried to avoid the catcher."
So, they admitted their mistake -- the mistake that cost the Padres a chance to take the lead in the 9th inning. Doesn't that make you feel better, Padres players and fans? Oh, the Dodgers went on to win the game 5-4 in the bottom half of the frame? That calls for one of these.
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