Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Tuesday, July 05, 2022

Twins, Byron Buxton turn the first 8-5 triple play in MLB history vs. White Sox

It’s a confusing play so here’s the breakdown: Buxton’s catch is the first out. The second out is Gio Urshela tagging Moncada, who was the runner at first base when the play began. The third out is Urshela stepping on second base to double off Engel. Engel was way out of frame and somewhere near home plate at the time.

Although the triple play is the headliner, you should take a moment to appreciate Buxton’s catch. That was not an easy play. Statcast says Pollock’s drive had an 82 percent hit probability based on the launch angle and exit velocity. Buxton is just that good in center field. Engel said he thought the ball was not caught, which is why he darted toward home.

“When he looked toward the wall, I thought he was looking for the ball to go down,” Engel told MLB.com. “I just made a bad play. Made a mistake on it. Unfortunate. It cost us some runs right there, most likely, and probably would have gone on to win the game.”

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: July 05, 2022 at 09:38 AM | 29 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: triple play, twins, white sox

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. JimMusComp misses old primer... Posted: July 05, 2022 at 10:23 AM (#6085563)
That base running was bad. Engle started off right. Going half way. Then when he saw Moncada running toward 2nd, he took off. I get he thought it was going to drop, but damn - Buxton was flying. You gotta make sure.
   2. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 05, 2022 at 10:36 AM (#6085565)
It was a nice running catch by Buxton but hardly Willie Mays/Vic Wertz. With nobody out, there was no reason for anybody to be running - if the ball drops, Engel scores easily. And why in the world do you go back to second and get within a foot of it but not bother to tag up?

The White Sox are an embarrassment.
   3. RickG Posted: July 05, 2022 at 10:41 AM (#6085567)
It is entirely possible this one play makes the difference between playoffs and not, when all is said and done. Coming when it did, against the team it did, at the start of a crucial stretch...

That very well might be curtains. On the 4th of July.
   4. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: July 05, 2022 at 10:47 AM (#6085569)
What the #### were the runners doing? That was appalling base running. Like Tom says, it's a nice catch but nothing memorable in any way. Frankly with no outs Sheets should be tagging so he's at least on third with one out. If Buxton misses it he still scores. And Moncada, I don't know what the hell he was doing. Fine you go to second and see if it's caught but why did he think it wasn't caught? Did he say anything about that? Awful awful base running by both guys.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: July 05, 2022 at 10:59 AM (#6085577)
At first I thought it was 8-5-3 and was very confused about what the runners were doing. Then I realized what actually happened and remained confused, just in a different way.
   6. John Northey Posted: July 05, 2022 at 11:35 AM (#6085581)
Funny, you'd think a team run by a very old manager - Tony La Russa - would have better fundamentals than that. No excuse for that bad baserunning. The runner on second (Engel was looking like he was about to tag up but ran to third without actually doing the tag up, then hung around third until it was too late - if you are going go). The runner on first should be the one most embarrassed as he almost ran over the guy at second when he should've been running to second and been close but not quite there just in case. Very ugly play there.
   7. Bull Pain Posted: July 05, 2022 at 11:40 AM (#6085582)
The White Sox have been a shockingly poor fundamental team for the last 15 years. Somehow they've gotten worse under LaRussa. Just a terribly run organization from top to bottom.

For example, Engel had only just come in to pinch run at 2nd base for Gavin Sheets after Moncada's game tying single. If Engel had been put in to pinch run before Moncada's at bat, he easily goes first to third and none of this happens. great HOF manager you got there.
   8. Tin Angel Posted: July 05, 2022 at 11:49 AM (#6085588)
Buxton was flying.


He really is. The weird thing is he doesn't look like he's running hard.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: July 05, 2022 at 11:52 AM (#6085590)
With nobody out, there was no reason for anybody to be running - if the ball drops, Engel scores easily.


That's the thing I find so appalling on many of these plays. If the ball isn't caught, the runner on second is almost always going to score.
   10. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: July 05, 2022 at 12:34 PM (#6085603)
That's the thing I find so appalling on many of these plays. If the ball isn't caught, the runner on second is almost always going to score.


I absolutely agree this was terrible baserunning, but I would quibble with your point. A good outfielder, if he knows he isn't going to catch the ball, will get himself in position to play the carom off the wall and make a quick throw to his cutoff man, potentially holding a tagging runner at second base. Of course, there are all sorts of things that can go on with that play - maybe the ball caroms oddly, maybe it's a fast enough runner that it doesn't matter, maybe the throw is offline, etc. It's possible that once you factor in all those variables, you get to "almost always." I think it might be a bit less often than that, but it would take better data gathering skills than I possess to figure it out.

From Engel's quote, it seems like that's what he thought was going to happen, and he took off early. But he's got to know that it's Buxton out there, and, regardless of who it is, the ball was so close to either being caught or getting down when he decided to run, he was much better off waiting to see what happened with his foot on second base. And Moncada's baserunning was worse. He should have been standing just on the first base side of second base, staring at the play until he saw what happened. He certainly had enough time to get back to first if the ball was caught.
   11. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 05, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6085604)
If Engel had just waited at second to see if the ball was caught, even if Buxton missed it, the worst-case scenario is that he's on third with nobody out.
   12. SoSH U at work Posted: July 05, 2022 at 12:59 PM (#6085606)
I absolutely agree this was terrible baserunning, but I would quibble with your point.


On retrospect, I'm still comfortable with almost always. But as Tom notes, the absolute worst case scenario is most of a run.

   13. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:04 PM (#6085607)
I absolutely agree this was terrible baserunning, but I would quibble with your point. A good outfielder, if he knows he isn't going to catch the ball, will get himself in position to play the carom off the wall and make a quick throw to his cutoff man, potentially holding a tagging runner at second base. Of course, there are all sorts of things that can go on with that play - maybe the ball caroms oddly, maybe it's a fast enough runner that it doesn't matter, maybe the throw is offline, etc. It's possible that once you factor in all those variables, you get to "almost always." I think it might be a bit less often than that, but it would take better data gathering skills than I possess to figure it out.


And a good baserunner should be able to properly gauge that. If Engle stays on second, and sees Buxton going all out, he will very likely be able to tag up and get to third if the ball is caught, or score if it is not, Buxton going all out and will likely be in no position to recover and throw in in time to prevent Engle from scoring. Likewise, the moment Engle sees Buxton holding up to position himself to play the carom, Engle can take off and still likely score.
   14. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:16 PM (#6085608)
Obviously, add me to those who say this is stunningly poor baserunning. But a few things:

1) I suspect Buxton's elite speed and defense make this play look a little more routine than it actually was (watching Jackie Bradley in his prime in CF was like this a lot - he wouldn't even have to dive for a ball that looked uncatchable off the bat). That doesn't excuse the baserunning, but maybe they all were more certain the ball would drop, and then were confused when they see Buxton in position to make a play.

2) Buxton's throw wasn't very good - it added to the confusion of watching the play unfold. You've got this throw going to nowhere in particular, the third baseman is retrieving it and then jogging back to 2nd base.

Outside of Buxton's great jump and fast wheels, this play is not very memorable.

In fact, if you think about any triple play you've ever seen, it usually does not involve a spectacular defensive play. Rather, it typically involves a combination of a well-struck ball directly at a fielder, and a couple of runners who are either taking off with the pitch, or making really crappy baserunning decisions.

Almost every one I can think of is either:
1) A hard grounder directly to the third base bag, and a third baseman who turns a quick 5-4-3 triple play; or
2) A line drive directly to a middle infielder who catches a pair of runners in a hit-and-run too far off the bag to recover.
   15. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: July 05, 2022 at 01:55 PM (#6085622)
Likewise, the moment Engle sees Buxton holding up to position himself to play the carom, Engle can take off and still likely score.


His quote indicates that this is what he thought was going to happen.
“When he looked toward the wall, I thought he was looking for the ball to go down,” Engel told MLB.com.
His problem is with the read and he admits as much. But once he read that the ball had a decent chance of being caught (decent enough that he retreated to second base to possibly tag), he just needed to tag. So the read was wrong and THEN the decision was wrong, regardless of what the read was.
   16. tshipman Posted: July 05, 2022 at 04:03 PM (#6085633)
What the #### were the runners doing? That was appalling base running. Like Tom says, it's a nice catch but nothing memorable in any way. Frankly with no outs Sheets should be tagging so he's at least on third with one out. If Buxton misses it he still scores. And Moncada, I don't know what the hell he was doing. Fine you go to second and see if it's caught but why did he think it wasn't caught? Did he say anything about that? Awful awful base running by both guys.


This play is 100% on Engle. Moncada is looking at Engle, sees that he doesn't tag, and so he is trying to bust it down to score from 1st on what he thinks is a double. If Moncada looks at the ball, there's no way he scores and it shouldn't be necessary because you just watch your teammate.
   17. asinwreck Posted: July 05, 2022 at 04:38 PM (#6085646)
The 1983 White Sox season ended with idiotic baserunning, so in a sense, this is La Russa reliving the most successful part of his original stint with the team.

Daryl Boston and Joe McEwing have been the base coaches for three consecutive managers (dating back to Robin Ventura).
   18. The Ghost of Sox Fans Past Posted: July 05, 2022 at 07:42 PM (#6085674)
Then there was the triple play that Ron Wright hit into in his only major league game. That play is at 0:31, but watch the whole clip to see all three AB's of the poor guy's MLB career.
   19. depletion Posted: July 05, 2022 at 09:09 PM (#6085682)
Maybe next game the Sox can pay a guy to stand near third base and give hand signals to baserunners. This and the recent story on the Nats misplay on the lack of appeal play, and some of the other Nats misplay this year, give me the impression of teams that are just out of sorts. I think the Cubs had a hiccup of this order recently as well. I never noticed this in MLB before, but it appears that, for some teams, once the boulder starts rolling downhill, they find it difficult to maintain concentration at their best level.
   20. The Honorable Ardo Posted: July 06, 2022 at 12:25 AM (#6085705)
Who was it that said, "We need a second-base coach"? One would have come in handy on that play.
   21. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 06, 2022 at 04:21 AM (#6085711)
The last time we had a Buxton post, about four weeks ago, I mentioned that "whenever I check on his stats it seems he's batting .215 with an OBP around .300." At the time he was doing considerably better than that, but with this triple play post I was again reminded that Byron Buxton is a thing, so I checked on how he was doing and ... he's batting .222 with a .299 OBP.

The .564 SLG is still great, as is his 143 OPS+, and his fielding stats are starting to shape up. But he's still looking suspiciously like Kyle Schwarber (my facetious comparison) on the offensive side.

BB: .222/.299/.564, .863 OPS, 143 OPS+, 22 HR, 73 K in 261 PA (28%)
KS: .219/.336/.513, .853 OPS, 138 OPS+, 25 HR, 101 K in 345 PA (29%)

Both are mostly batting leadoff. Schwarber, surprisingly, has stolen more bases (4/4 vs 2/2 for Buxton).
   22. Jose is an Absurd Sultan Posted: July 06, 2022 at 08:10 AM (#6085714)
Then there was the triple play that Ron Wright hit into in his only major league game. That play is at 0:31, but watch the whole clip to see all three AB's of the poor guy's MLB career.


Good story with Wright who seems to have a solid attitude about things. Well worth the read.

POCATELLO, Idaho, April 11 — Five years ago, in an otherwise forgettable baseball game between the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers, a 26-year-old rookie named Ron Wright struck out, hit into a double play and hit into a triple play.

“Best day of my professional life,” Wright said.
   23. God can’t be all that impressed with Charles S. Posted: July 06, 2022 at 10:05 AM (#6085721)
But he's still looking suspiciously like Kyle Schwarber (my facetious comparison) on the offensive side.

Kyle Schwarber's offense with Byron Buxton's defense is a heck of a major league ballplayer.
   24. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 06, 2022 at 11:21 AM (#6085726)
Kyle Schwarber's offense with Byron Buxton's defense is a heck of a major league ballplayer.

Yes.

I'm curious, what's the best season ever from a player with an OBP below .300?

SOME SLUGGERS
Tony Batista had 2.2 WAR in 2001 with a .280 OBP, but an OPS+ of only 87.
Ruben Sierra had a 106 OPS + in 1994 with a .298 OBP, but only 0.3 WAR.
Joe Carter had 1.7 WAR and a 110 OPS+ in 1989 with a .292 OBP.
Dave Kingman had 2.5 WAR and a 129 OPS+ in 1976 with a .286 OBP.

SOME DEFENSIVE OUTFIELDERS
Carlos Gomez had 2.1 WAR with a .296 OBP in 2008.
Paul Blair's best sub-.300 OBP year was 1972 with 2.5 WAR.
Devon White was below .300 OBP in 1988, 1989 and 1990 and had WAR of 3.4, 4.0, 1.7. That's an interesting comp for Buxton, but he had a sub-100 OPS+ in all three seasons.

SOME SHORTSTOPS
Ozzie Smith had three seasons with an OBP below .300, his WAR was 1.6, 1.0 (strike year), -0.7.
Mark Belanger's best sub-.300 OBP season was 5.0 WAR in 1975 with an OBP of .286.
Andrelton Simmons topped out at 5.8 WAR with an OBP of .296 in 2013.
   25. Cooper Nielson Posted: July 06, 2022 at 11:32 AM (#6085728)
Andre Dawson's 1978 is worth a shout:
.299 OBP but 107 OPS+, 4.8 WAR, 25 HR, 28 SB, and 12 Rfield.
   26. Accent Shallow is still reading xi as squiggle Posted: July 06, 2022 at 12:56 PM (#6085745)
Boy is this some poor baserunning.

I had assumed something like a flyout with 2nd/3rd, with the throw going to 3rd to catch the runner tagging, and an appeal finding the runner on 3rd left early. This is much worse.
   27. aberg Posted: July 06, 2022 at 01:22 PM (#6085750)
Andre Dawson's 1978 is worth a shout:
.299 OBP but 107 OPS+, 4.8 WAR, 25 HR, 28 SB, and 12 Rfield.


Pre-injury Andre Dawson is a decent comp for Buxton. In fact, with Buxton's physical issues, Dawson might end up being a good career comp for him too.
   28. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 06, 2022 at 01:37 PM (#6085754)
In 1916 Rabbit Maranville had a career high WAR of 5.3 with a .296 OBP.
   29. Dillon Gee Escape Plan Posted: July 06, 2022 at 06:35 PM (#6085816)
Billy Hamilton had 2.5 WAR in 2014 with a .292 OBP. Surprisingly only 2 RbaseR (he did get caught stealing 23 times), but +14 Rfield.

Alex Gonzalez had 5.1 WAR in 2010 with a .294 OBP and +27 Rfield.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Adam S
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

Newsblog2023 NBA Regular Season Thread
(287 - 5:21am, Feb 03)
Last: aberg

NewsblogOT - 2022 NFL thread Part II
(320 - 1:21am, Feb 03)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

NewsblogJohn Adams, Who Banged His Drum in the Cleveland Bleachers, Has Died
(14 - 1:12am, Feb 03)
Last: Joyful Calculus Instructor

Hall of MeritRanking Right Fielders in the Hall of Merit - Discussion thread
(42 - 10:46pm, Feb 02)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogMLB expansion: Nashville group led by Dave Stewart makes a pitch for Music City [$]
(25 - 10:40pm, Feb 02)
Last: John Northey

NewsblogOT Soccer Thread - Hi Ho Hi Ho it’s Back to Club Football We Go
(355 - 10:09pm, Feb 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Sultan

NewsblogEx-girlfriend alleges Mets outfielder assaulted her in Syracuse; warrant, lawsuit target player
(7 - 10:00pm, Feb 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Sultan

Hall of MeritRanking Left Fielders in the Hall of Merit - Discussion thread
(94 - 6:37pm, Feb 02)
Last: Howie Menckel

NewsblogOrioles to decline 5-year Camden Yards lease extension, seek to secure long-term agreement
(3 - 3:58pm, Feb 02)
Last: jingoist

Hall of MeritReranking Left Fielders Ballot
(20 - 3:38pm, Feb 02)
Last: Tiboreau

NewsblogMLB Network Exits YouTube TV Ahead of Spring Training After Contract Dispute
(50 - 3:21pm, Feb 02)
Last: JL72

Sox TherapyUpdates
(96 - 2:28pm, Feb 02)
Last: Darren

NewsblogHow to Watch the Caribbean Series
(3 - 11:27am, Feb 02)
Last: Jose is an Absurd Sultan

NewsblogOT: Wrestling Thread November 2014
(2641 - 5:42am, Feb 02)
Last: aberg

NewsblogBaseball Hall of Fame tracker 2023
(740 - 9:25pm, Feb 01)
Last: DL from MN

Page rendered in 0.2911 seconds
45 querie(s) executed