Although this one looked far more normal than the last, Dan Jennings had his doubts the White Sox would turn another triple play.
Lo and behold, the White Sox turned their second triple play in less than a month in a contest they dropped to the Houston Astros 5-3 on Wednesday night.
It’s the first time the White Sox have turned two triple plays in the same season and they’re the first team to accomplish the feat since the 2007 Philadelphia Phillies. Todd Frazier started the play when he fielded George Springer’s grounder, stepped on third base and immediately fired to second.
“My first thought when I saw Frazier going to second, I thought he was nuts,” Jennings said. “I thought he was going third to first, get two and move on. He went to second and obviously made the right call.”
Frazier said the three-outer is the first he’s been involved in like this. He also participated in the team’s 9-3-2-6-2-5 April 22 triple play against the Texas Rangers. But this one had a more normal look to it.
“That was a conventional triple play,” White Sox manager Robin Ventura said. “We like them all though.”
Jennings particularly liked it. He walked Tony Kemp and Jose Altuve on nine pitches to start the inning with the White Sox trailing by two. Springer swung at a first-pitch slider from Jennings and hit it directly to Frazier, who hopped to the base and didn’t hesitate to throw to second. Lawrie’s relay to first was in plenty of time to get the speedy Springer.
“It takes one pitch sometimes,” Frazier said. “I keep telling the pitchers when you get in a grind get us that groundball, let us play defense and let's work. And that's what we've been doing.”
But the White Sox couldn’t take advantage of any momentum gained. Astros relievers Will Harris and Luke Gregerson retired the final six men they faced to send the White Sox to their fourth straight loss.
Jennings enjoyed the experience but would have liked a win, too.
“You go from that to a 10-pitch inning,” Jennings said. “That’s unbelievable. Guys out there saving me pitches, saving me runs, saving me everything and keeps us in the game. Hats off to the fielders out there.”
“That’s fun. It sucks to lose, and that’s the end result. But something like that makes the game fun and keeps you in check that we are playing a game and you do have a little fun even in a loss.”