Twins Vault: An incredible triple play

June 20th, 2021

MLB.com is digging back into its massive video vault to uncover classic plays that you have loved, forgotten about or, perhaps, are discovering for the very first time. Watch these moments and many, many more on the MLB Vault YouTube page.

May 29, 1982: A triple play ... without a ball put in play?
It's already quite the feat for a team to collect three outs on one play. Now, imagine all that happening without the benefit of the ball being put in play. The Twins don't need to imagine that, because they pulled off the feat in a 1982 contest against the Yankees for their fourth of 15 triple plays in club history -- in a very unorthodox manner. Following singles by Bobby Murcer and Graig Nettles, the 2-5-3-1 play began with a strikeout of Roy Smalley while the Yankees attempted a double steal. When catcher Earl Battey threw to third, Murcer stopped in his tracks and retreated to second, forcing Nettles back toward first, where he was tagged out. Kent Hrbek made a throw over to third as Murcer attempted once again to advance -- where he, too, was retired for the third out.

June 10, 2010: Nothing but net for Mauer
The netting behind home plate is meant to act as the boundary between the playing field and the stands -- unless your name is Joe Mauer, apparently. When Mitch Maier lifted a ninth-inning popup off Brian Duensing, Mauer popped up out of his crouch and tracked the fly behind home plate, all the way to the edge of the netting, next to the entrance to the Twins' dugout. And instead of heeding the suggested boundaries of the field posed by the net, Mauer lunged with his glove hand and actually reached around and behind the netting to secure the pop fly, showing off his rare combination of awareness and innate ability. It's no wonder he won three straight Gold Glove Awards at catcher.

May 20, 2005: Silva's complete game ... on 74 pitches
The legendary Greg Maddux was so renowned for his ability to work efficiently through lineups that the baseball world has nicknamed the feat of throwing a sub-100-pitch complete game after him. Maybe Carlos Silva should have something named after him, too. On May 20, 2005, not only did Silva throw his second career complete game, but he also somehow carved through the Brewers' lineup using only 74 pitches -- tied with the Rockies' Aaron Cook for the fewest pitches used in a nine-inning complete game since 1998, when the Baseball-Reference archives first began including pitch counts. Pitching to contact as always, Silva allowed a solo homer to Damian Miller in the fifth inning -- his only frame in which he threw more than 10 pitches. Silva had a three-pitch inning in the sixth, when he allowed a single, then induced a double play and a flyout.

July 28, 2007: The most unlikely Twins HR by a non-pitcher?
In addition to an extreme open batting stance in which his front foot essentially pointed toward first base while in the batter's box, outfielder Jason Tyner was known during his three-year Twins career as one of the light-hitting, speedy "Piranhas," as coined by then-White Sox skipper Ozzie Guillen. Tyner held one other distinction: It took him 1,220 at-bats, across 390 career games, for him to hit his first career home run. The shot, off Cleveland right-hander Jake Westbrook, barely cleared the right-field wall at the ballpark then known as Jacobs Field, snapping the longest active streak of homerless at-bats in the Majors at the time. It was the only homer Tyner hit during his eight-year career with the Mets, Devil Rays, Twins and Cleveland.

May 30, 2002: Guardado says pitchers are athletes, too
Who says pitchers shouldn't catch foul balls? Try telling that to "Everyday" Eddie Guardado, whose keen awareness led to a classic Metrodome moment. Tim Salmon of the Angels popped a ball up that seemed destined to land out of play -- until it caromed off a speaker at the 'Dome. A.J. Pierzynski, behind the plate for the Twins, gave up on the play and had already moved on. But Guardado tracked it all the way while it was in the air, quickly raced off the mound and made a diving catch in foul territory, bringing the crowd to its feet.

July 16, 2019: Arraez walks into Twins' fans hearts
How many players can turn a walk into a highlight-worthy moment? Welcome to Luis Arraez's world. Back in 2019, he was a rookie trying to demonstrate that his supreme bat control and command of the strike zone could play at the big league level -- and in one plate appearance, he showed he could match up against anyone in the game. Entering cold off the bench and inheriting an 0-2 count against hard-throwing Mets closer Edwin Díaz, Arraez saw eight pitches, fouled off four, and took four for balls -- working an improbable walk against some of the nastiest stuff in the game.

Sept. 12, 2018: 'Chubby people also run'
Remember when the legend of La Tortuga began? It was a September night in 2018, with the Yankees in town. Jake Odorizzi was working on a no-hitter through seven innings at Target Field. And a month into his career, Willians Astudillo stole the show anyway. He was off and running from first base when Max Kepler lifted a ball to left-center, out of reach of a diving Aaron Hicks. As the ball rolled to the wall, a ballpark camera operator trained his lens on Astudillo, who was huffing and puffing as he rounded third base, his helmet long since lost, his hair flowing in the breeze, as he motored all the way home. Following the game, he delivered the immortal line through interpreter Elvis Martinez: "I just wanted to show that chubby people also run."