Drellich: Astros turn 700th known triple play in MLB history

From SABR member Evan Drellich at the Houston Chronicle on May 23, 2015:

New Astros infield coach Rich Dauer controls what he’s dubbed the “alien” defense, the shifts that look out of this world to some people. He’s the Astros’ infield alignment headmaster.

“The planning of the alien defense is something I’ve always loved,” he said. “We do it more than anybody else.”

In Saturday’s 3-2 win over the Tigers, everything turned on one out-of-this-world turn from his infielders, the 10th triple play in franchise history and the first since 2004. It began with Jonathan Villar, the former starting shortstop who’s adapting well to a new life as a utility man. He was at third base on this day, positioned perfectly.

“That’s my first one,” said Jose Altuve, the second leg of the 5-4-3 triple play that ended with first baseman Chris Carter. “Really good for the team, really good in the moment, and I think we win the game because of that play.”


The Society for American Baseball Research (SABR) has a list of triple plays, with the first coming in 1876. Per that list, Saturday’s was the 700th known triple play in major league history.

The last triple play turned in the majors came May 9, 2015, the only one in that season. Pirates second baseman Neil Walker started it against the Cardinals.

Read the full article here: http://blog.chron.com/ultimateastros/2015/05/23/rookie-mccullers-keeps-tigers-potent-offense-at-bay-for-first-win-in-majors/

Originally published: May 28, 2015. Last Updated: May 28, 2015.