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D.J. LeMahieu's glove flip and Troy Tulowitzki's cannon lead to spectacular double play

Mark Townsend
Big League Stew

Believe it or not, there are still plenty of justifiable reasons to watch the Colorado Rockies play baseball despite a disastrous 13-33 stretch dating back to May 11.

Chief among them: their spectacular infield defense.

Sure, gold glove third baseman Nolan Arenado has been out of the lineup for six weeks with a broken finger (he's actually due back on Thursday), but they still have a gold glover in Troy Tulowitzki at shortstop and two highly underrated defenders at second base and first base with D.J. LeMahieu and Justin Morneau respectively. On Wednesday, it was the middle infield duo who teamed up to turn heads on a very slick double play in their 4-3 loss to the Washington Nationals.

In the first inning, Washington's Anthony Rendon bounced one up the middle that appeared ticketed for center field but, LeMahieu was able to cut it off with a nifty backhand. Almost in one motion as he tumbled to the ground, LeMahieu flipped the ball on the backhand from his glove to Troy Tulowitzki, who caught it with his bare hand as he pirouetted over the bag and then fired to first base to nip Rendon and complete a most sensational 4-6-3 double play.

The play was over in the blink of an eye, which makes the precise manner in which they were able to execute each difficult aspect of the play even more impressive. A simple bobble by LeMahieu or off target flip likely results in Colorado not even recording one out. If Tulowitzki mishandles it or double clutches, it's certainly not a double play, and the possibility of a big first inning exists.

Don't overlook Tulowitzki's throw either. The accuracy and velocity directly following the spin are remarkable, and he needed every bit of both to complete the play.

It's about as good a double play as you'll see up the middle, yet LeMahieu and Tulowitzki made it look smooth and effortless. That's a credit to both defenders. Now, if only the Rockies could stack their rotation with pitchers who consistently force ground balls, they'll finally be on to something, because when their infield is at full strength it's almost impenetrable.   

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Mark Townsend is a writer for Big League Stew on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at bigleaguestew@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter!

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