The top of the sixth inning between the Pirates and Giants gave us one of the wackier moments of this baseball season. Somehow, Pittsburgh turned a walk to load the bases into an inning-ending double play, even as the batter was heading to first.
Gaby Sanchez led off the inning with a walk, then got to second while Travis Snider made it to first on a fielding error. Jordy Mercer sacrificed to the first baseman, moving Sanchez and Snider to third and second, respectively, with one out. Then things got nutty.
Giants pitcher Jean Machi came on in relief and promptly walked Chris Stewart. But while Stewart was taking his base, Machi got the ball back from the catcher and noticed Snider well off of second base. Machi threw to shortstop Brandon Crawford, who chased down Snider. In the meantime, Sanchez had seen Snider running his way, so he left third base and headed for home. Once Snider was tagged out, Crawford threw the ball back to Machi, causing Sanchez to head back toward third. Machi tossed the ball to third baseman Pablo Sandoval, who tagged Sanchez for the third out of the inning, and the second one which was completely unexpected.
Here, just see it for yourself:
Amazing! The Pirates had the bases loaded with one out, and a few seconds later, the Giants were prancing off the field in delight. And because karma’s, well, karma, Pittsburgh, which was leading 5-4 at the time, failed to tack on any more runs and wound up with a 7-5 loss.
— Steve Blass’ Ghost (@BlassFastball) July 30, 2014
Snider clearly was asleep at the wheel, thinking that, rather than that walk loading the bases, the walk had come with the bases already loaded, so all he had to do was trot over to third.
“Absolutely! It was 100 percent mental error on my part,” Snider told the Associated Press. “Offensively, we could have made something happen. Honestly, I was thinking about getting to third base and if he walked I’d get to third. That’s obviously not what you want to happen when you have first open. I take ownership for that mistake.”
That was a new one for Pirates manager Clint Hurdle. “You know, I have a buddy and we always talk about how if you watch enough games you’ll continually see something you have never seen before,” he said. “Unfortunately, that’s the first time I’ve seen us walk into a double play.”
SPECIAL BONUS: As a reward to our loyal readers, here’s another zany moment from this game:
— Cut4 (@Cut4) July 31, 2014