WASHINGTON — Well, that’s one you don’t see every day.
With the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth inning for the San Francisco Giants on Friday night, and the Nationals clinging to a precarious 4-1 lead, Sammy Solis took the mound. He became the third pitcher to enter the game for Washington in the inning after starter Max Scherzer riffed through seven innings, allowing just one earned run, five hits and two walks.
Solis was in a tight position. It’s not often that one works out of a bases loaded, no out situation without giving up at least one run.
Then again, it’s not often that somebody does what Ryan Zimmerman did to end the inning.
Brandon Crawford hit a hard line drive to Zimmerman, who had just entered the game at first base as part of a triple switch to bring Solis to the mound. Zimmerman caught the ball in the air, but evidently some of the players on the field thought he caught it on the bounce. As a result, former National Denard Span ran home from third, thinking he’d scored a run, which allowed the triple play to matriculate.
As the Nationals and the league later noted, it was both the first triple play in franchise history, and the first triple play in MLB history to be pulled off quite that way.
The Nationals held on to win the game, 4-1, as Felipe Rivero and Shawn Kelley combined for a scoreless ninth inning. For what it’s worth, naturally, Zimmerman grounded into a double play in the top of the ninth.