Saturday, August 27, 2005

August 27th, 1986

Mets Turn Double Play

Most double plays are of the infield variety, 6-4-3, 4-6-3, the occasional unassisted double-play and so on. Now and then you'll see an outfielder-catcher double play, usually on a failed attempt to score on a fly ball and sometimes an outfielder-infielder when a runner gets gunned down trying to tag up.

On this day in 1986 however, the Mets turned an extremely rare outfielder-catcher-infielder double play. The situation was set-up like this: the Mets held a six-five lead over the Padres in the eleventh inning of their August 27th game. However, unwilling to go quietly, the Padres' Gary Templeton led off with a double. Pinch hitter Craig Lefferts came up for Goose Gossage and struck out, leaving Templeton on second, one out. The next batter was Tim Flannery. Flannery lined a single to Mets' center fielder Lenny Dykstra. Dykstra then threw out Templeton at home plate, as the Padres' runner and Mets' catcher John Sterns collided, leaving Sterns flat on his back, but still with the ball, and the runner out.

Seeing his single go for naught, but evidently thinking Sterns was in no position to stop him, Flannery took off for third. Sterns however, was in a position to stop him, even if that position was still more or less flat on his back. He fired the ball to Howard Johnson at third base who put the tag on Flannery, ending the game with a rarely seen 8-2-5 double play.

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