The Orioles used a 1-2-5 double play to escape a bases-loaded jam against Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton
This weekend's Orioles-Yankees series in the Bronx was pretty intense. On Friday night, the two AL East rivals played into the 14th inning in a marathon game filled with twists, turns and surprises.
Sunday's game also went into extras, with the Orioles persevering, 8-7, after being down 5-0 in the first inning. But the fact that Baltimore emerged victorious was a testament to some good fortune and excellent fundamentals in the final inning -- and a lot of drama.
Reliever Brad Brach found himself in perhaps the most unfavorable situation possible against New York. The bases were loaded, nobody was out, and Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton were due up. That's scary.
That's where the unusual and totally unexpected 1-2-5 double play came in after Brach speared a comebacker and fired home to Caleb Joseph for one out, before he got a forceout at third:
How unexpected was that? Well, according to BaseballReference.com's Play Index, that was apparently the first 1-2-5 double play in Baltimore Orioles history.
Brach then struck out Stanton with two runners on to nail down the win and complete the Houdini impression.
Who could have predicted that?
After the game, Joseph told MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli that his heads-up defensive play was instinctual:
"I just told Brach if he gets a comebacker to come to me. That's obviously the play we're going to. I was thinking if there was a chance, let's try for third here. As soon as I received the ball, [Tim] Beckham was right at third base. I didn't hesitate, didn't think twice about it, threw the ball to third.
"It's a play I've thought about plenty of times before, because most catchers will throw the ball to third base. You have two outs, that sounds great, but you also have the winning run at second base, so a flare not only ties the game, but it beats you, and I've always wondered why guys didn't try to go to third base there to try and keep the winning run at first base so that it takes an extra-base hit to beat you, so it worked out. We're really excited about it. We're really proud of Brach for really grinding that one out, getting the big 'W' for us."
The Orioles have a penchant for well-timed and unusual defensive plays ... take this 6-4-3 triple play from last season for example:
That's why they play the game. Anything can happen at any time!