Everything was going the New York Yankees way in their 5-2 win over the Orioles on Friday night.
With the bases loaded in their half of the seventh, Francisco Cervelli tagged a flyball to straight away center field that the usually sure-handed Adam Jones had measured up but couldn't squeeze for the final out in the frame. It wasn't an easy play by any means, since the ball right at you is the most difficult to judge, but it's a play Jones will make 99 times out of 100. He just didn't here, and when the ball hit the ground three runs ended up scoring giving the Yankees their margin of victory.
That was the first break to go New York's way. Honestly, at the time, it would have been impossible to imagine a bigger break going their way the rest of the game, and perhaps even the rest of the month, but it only took a half inning to top it.
The Orioles put runners at first and second to begin the top of the eighth inning with Manny Machado coming to the plate. Machado would smack one on a short hop to second baseman Robinson Cano, which he fielded cleanly and flipped to shortstop Jayson Nix for the force out at second. There's one out.
Now cue the circus music.
Lead runner Alexi Casilla was in a tough spot considering he didn't know whether or not the ball would be caught, so he's trapped in no man's land off second. After three tosses and a valiant effort, Casilla's finally tagged by third baseman Kevin Youkilis for the second out.
That brings us back to Machado, who decides he has a chance to move up to second while the rundown is taking place. Bad idea. Completely aware of his intentions, Youkilis fires a throw behind him to first baseman Lyle Overbay, who quickly unloads back to Cano to tag the sliding Machado for the third out. Triple play.
Easy as 1-2-3.
Scored as 4-6-5-6-5-3-4.
It's the first home triple play for New York since June 3, 1968 against the Minnesota Twins, and their first overall since April 22, 2010 at Oakland. I'm sure neither were quite this dramatic, though every triple play has to include some drama.
Ironically, Adam Jones was left standing in the on deck circle and would not have his chance at redemption until the ninth when it was far too late. He popped out to left field.
And how about that reaction by Robinson Cano, Kevin Youkilis and others? They may be grown men with more money than we can dream off, but the game has a way of making all of us kids again when something special like a triple play happens.