Baseball is at its best when some extremely athletic people do one of two things: something amazing or something weird. In this blessed case, we got a lot of both.
The Oakland Athletics hosted the Toronto Blue Jays on a getaway day Sunday afternoon matchup that got wonky right out of the gate. In the top of the second inning, lefty Brett Anderson threw a 3-2 pitch to Teoscar Hernandez that the right fielder absolutely crushed to deep center field. The TV camera even takes a bit to figure out who’s tracking the ball, which was hit high and deep and looked like a sure home run.
But it was, instead, a wild double-play that was only just beginning. Stephen Piscotty leapt over the wall and snagged the ball just before it dropped behind the center field fence for the first out of the inning.
Justin Smoak, who definitely thought this was a home run, scrambles back to first base. But Piscotty, clearly amped up over the awesome catch, threw the hell out of the baseball that was supposed to go to first to double up Smoak. Instead, the chonky boi got back to first as the throw went into foul territory. The throw sailed past the first baseman, who was way off the bag in foul territory and had to be backed up by the catcher near the dugout.
Thinking he was in the clear to take second, Smoak took off while the Athletics dealt with what Piscotty had hucked their way. But Oakland catcher Nick Hundley made an incredible play in foul territory, picking the ball up off a bounce and throwing a dirt-aided dart to the second baseman to beat the lumbering Smoak at second.
That is, in case you were wondering, an 8-2-6 double play, with an exclamation point on it, if you’re scoring at home. Maybe a few. It’s hard to do something new in the game of baseball, and while this probably has happened once or twice before, I’m not sure anyone has ever seen a play like this filled with equal parts brilliance and incompetence, all at once. It’s certainly a hell of a way to kill a rally.