One catcher, one play, two runners out at home
When baserunning goes horribly, horribly wrong
Spring Training has always had the tendency to get a little ... loose. Players are getting back into shape, players are wearing all sorts of weird jersey numbers, the wins and losses don't count -- it's a setting ripe for all sorts of weirdness and/or bee swarms.
But there's weirdness, and then there's what went down during Monday afternoon's Blue Jays-Pirates game. With one out and the bases loaded, Pittsburgh's Oneil Cruz boomed one off the wall in deep center. That should be enough to score at least two runs, right? Ah, but Kevin Kramer stumbled coming around second, and Jason Martin thought he might be able to score all the way from first, thus setting the stage for one of the rarest and most beautiful bloopers the sport has to offer: two runners getting tagged out at home plate on the same play.
It is a veritable baseball clown car.
Not only does Toronto catcher Patrick Cantwell show great awareness, dealing with the very large human being hurtling towards him without losing sight of the other very large human being hurtling towards him, but he runs Martin back up the third-base line for good measure! (Being able to see the hope leave Martin's shoulders as he realizes what he's gotten himself into immediately elevates this into the pantheon of Spring Training highlights.)
Martin had a pretty good explanation after the game. He told MLB.com's Adam Berry that, once he saw Kramer slip, he could've gone back to third, but at that point he didn’t know where the ball was and he’d already been sent home. Pirates manager Derek Shelton, meanwhile, decided to look on the bright side.
"Martin made a really good read on it and runs really well and just caught [Kramer]," Shelton told Berry. "Once Kevin slipped, we were in a situation where two guys were right on top of each other because of how good a read Martin made.”
Of course, this is hardly the first time something like this has happened. Who could forget Jeff Kent and Stephen Drew dashing directly into Paul Lo Duca's waiting mitt in Game 1 of the 2006 NLCS:
Or Carlton Fisk winning collisions with two consecutive Yankees:
Don't feel too bad, guys. The stakes could've been much higher.