St. Louis Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina rolls into the dreadful 5-4-3 triple play against the Boston Red Sox in Fenway Park on Tuesday night in the fourth inning.
Occasionally, baseball fans will get to see a triple play in America’s pastime. You never really know when one is coming or what variation of the three-out extravaganza will look like. The most generic 5-4-3 triple play has to be the saddest for the guy that rolls into it. On Tuesday night, that was St. Louis Cardinals All-Star catcher Yadier Molina.
With third baseman Paul DeJong on second base and center fielder Dexter Fowler on first base, Molina chops Boston Red Sox starter Rick Porcello’s offering to the third base bag. Rookie third baseman Rafael Devers steps on the bag easily and fires it to second baseman Eduardo Nunez for out No. 2.
Nunez makes an on-target throw to Red Sox first baseman Mitch Moreland for out No. 3. Molina did not get out of the box quick enough and hit the ball right to Devers to make this triple play a reality.
Of course, we can poke fun of the slow-footed catcher for the Cardinals. Molina has always been one of the best defensive catchers in the game and has been the face of the Cardinals franchise since former first baseman Albert Pujols left for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim over half a decade ago.
Because of the time it takes for the 5-4-3 triple play to develop, it is a rare occurrence in any level of baseball. Usually triple plays come about on a hot shot to somebody in the infield where he can double-off a guy or two or some base runner does something boneheaded on the base path.
This was not one of those situations. The reason this triple play was executed to perfection was who was at the plate and where he hit the ball to. Anybody else in the batter’s box for the Cardinals beats that out. Had Molina hit it to shortstop, it might have only been a double play.