Thu May 20 01:02am EDT
One guy. Two of the most exciting kinds of plays in baseball. In the same game.
"We lost the game," Pagan said softly. "It would have been better if we won the game. It would have been a lot of fun. Unfortunately, we didn't win."
Regardless, give it up for Angel, a nice guy who's had his share (along with your share and my share) of physical issues the past few years.
The inside-the-parker, hit against Livan Hernandez(notes) in the fourth inning, was pretty standard. Pagan lined a pitch off the center-field fence, just beyond the range of a leaping Nyjer Morgan(notes). The ball bounced far away and Pagan never stopped hustling. He got a firm "go" sign from coach Chip Hale and barely beat Ian Desmond's(notes) relay throw to the plate.
It was the second career inside-the-park homer for Pagan. In a strange coincidence, the first one also came in a game that featured a triple play — an unassisted one, turned by Eric Bruntlett(notes) of the Philadelphia Phillies on August 23.
With runners on first and second, Washington's Cristian Guzman(notes) lined a pitch to center and Pagan made a sweet running, lunging catch — though umpires did not immediately make a definitive call, safe or out...
Pagan's eyes say he knows a historic moment is upon us all...
Pagan took a few steps forward and threw the ball, well, to nobody, in the middle of the infield...
* * *
With Morgan standing on second — hoping umpires would call a trap — catcher Henry Blanco(notes) alertly scooped up the ball and flipped it to Jose Reyes, and he stepped on the bag for the second out...
Reyes relayed to Ike Davis(notes) at first base — where Guzman was standing, hoping he had hit a single — for the third out. After a brief umps conference to get their story straight, crew chief Tim Tschida confirmed the triple play.
It's the 10th triple play in Mets history and the first in eight years, almost to the day.
And not since Ted Kazanski of the Phillies did it in '55 had a player hit an inside-the-parker and helped turn a triple play in the same ballgame.
Wait, Ted Kazanski? Could he be the dad of Tom "Iceman" Kazanski from "Top Gun"?
That would make Pagan "Maverick," and he was everyone's problem on the Nats. Hey, the plaque for the guys who turn triple plays and hit inside-the-park home runs is down the hall.