An offensive lineman scoring a touchdown on a hook-and-lateral is pretty cool. I can't deny that. But is there anything better than a nifty double play?
I think not, my friends.
That's why you have to check out the incredible job by Cleveland Indians shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera and second baseman Jason Kipnis did on Saturday night. The double play they turned had a little bit of everything, including what I'll call the baseball version of a hook-and-lateral.
It happened in the first inning of their 9-4 victory over the New York Mets. With one out, designated hitter Zach Lutz laced a ball up the middle that typically would have found its way into center field, but Kipnis was shaded far enough in that direction that he was able to snag it on the backhand. That alone was pretty nice. Kipnis then quickly decided their best bet for a double play would be if he flipped the ball directly from his glove to a covering Cabrera as his momentum carried him across the bag. A baseball hook-and-lateral.
The only problem was Kipnis' flip was a little high, and the 6-foot Cabrera had to extend to make the catch. Not a problem though. Cabrera not only handled the flip, he also gracefully tapped the bag with his back foot and then reloaded to throw out Lutz by a full step.
It was an impressive though imperfect play on Kipnis' part. But the effort by Cabrera was remarkable. Especially his footwork around the base and his ability to unload a strong enough throw to complete the double play. I don't know that it tops Brandon Phillips' single-handed effort on a double play earlier this season, but it was a solid nine on a one to ten scale.
Well done by the Indians middle infield.