As SNY’s Gary Cohen said at the end of the third inning: “every day you come to the ballpark, you have the chance to see something you’ve never seen before.”
Indeed, the Mets gave fans at Nationals Park in DC, and those watching on SNY and MASN, just that in the third inning of Game 1 of Saturday’s doubleheader, turning a routing 6-5-3 double play ball into an E6 into a tremendous 4-1 putout at third?
Yup, and here’s how it happened: with one out and Juan Soto at first, Marcus Stroman got Josh Bell to hit into the shift on what should have been a routine double play ball. However, Jonathan Villar couldn’t handle Francisco Lindor’s flip, and the ball rolled back to the right side of the infield.
Because of the shift, no one was covering third, so Soto took off for third…but Javy Baez picked up the ball, dodged Villar, and fired to a charging Stroman, who dove in and tagged Soto on the knee before he reached third for a 4-1 putout.
Give an assist to Lindor, and error to Villar, then an assist to Baez and a putout to Stroman there. Marcus scraped up his arm a little bit on the slide, but he was able to stay in, and the only other “damage” from the missed DP was Stroman throwing six more pitches before getting Yadiel Hernandez to hit a comebacker to end the inning.
The shift giveth, taketh away…and apparently giveth again.
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