Wednesday night was a wild and crazy night at Fenway Park in Boston. Not only did the hometown Red Sox move back into first place in the American League East with a 5-4, 15 inning victory over the Seattle Mariners, which alone drove the city into a frenzy, they also turned one of the most unusual double plays you'll ever see.
Or maybe I should say Jonny Gomes turned one of the most unusual double plays you'll ever see, because the Red Sox left fielder actually did it all by himself. That's 7-unassisted if you're scoring at home.
The unique play happened at a great time for the Red Sox. With the game tied in the top half of the 15th inning, Seattle had runners at first and second with only one out. Michael Saunders, who had just preserved the game for Seattle in the 14th inning with an assist to cut down Brandon Snyder at the plate, would step in and hit a sinking line drive to Gomes in left. The lead runner, Raul Ibanez, gambled that the ball would fall in front of the part-time outfielder, but Gomes ended up making a terrifically awkward diving catch.
From there, all Gomes had to do was make the 100 or so foot jog from short left field to tap the base. And what a joyous jog that must have been.
"To tell the truth, you know, myself as kind of a fan of the game, history of the game, you know, number guy, it definitely was on purpose and ... I've been waiting years to do that," Gomes said.
The Sox outfielder, who has neither performed or seen such a play before in baseball, was apparently aiming to make some baseball history with his actions.
"That's why I'm glad I got it on my resume," Gomes said.
We don't mean to burst Gomes' bubble, but as unusual as an unassisted double play from an outfielder is in baseball, it's not the first we've seen this season. On April 21, Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder Desmond Jennings actually pulled off an 8-unassisted double play at first base. Prior to that though, you had to go all the way back to Mike Cameron in 2003 to find the most recent occurrence. So it truly is rare.
As for Ibanez's side of the story. From the Associated Press:
''I was erring on the side of being aggressive,'' he said. ''I was just going on what I saw and where he was playing. I knew it was going to fade and it did, but he made a great play.''
Hey, when you've played 15 innings, no one will blame you for being aggressive. Unfortunately for Seattle though, they wouldn't get that chance again. In the bottom of the inning, Stephen Drew ended it with a bases loaded walk-off single.
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