The Twins and Yankees are playing the opener of a three-game series Monday night in Minnesota, where the Twins offense has become basically a howitzer firing baseballs into the outfield stands. These are two of the top three teams in the American League, so this series has some juice.
The Yankees threatened early against flammable Twins starter Martín Pérez, who walked the first two batters of the game before slugger Edwin Encarnación came to the plate. This was bad news. Encarnación is a powerful man who swings a mighty bat, and generally you do not want to be facing him with men on and no command. Pérez dug in and battled, and with his 20th pitch of the inning he induced a hard grounder to third, which suddenly became a smooth and lovely 5–4–3 triple play:
Not a lot of fireworks to that sequence, as triple plays go. Still, it’s a rare feat—Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com says this was just the 13th triple play in Twins history, and the first first-inning triple play since 2016—and not the sort of thing that is likely to be eclipsed by another play from the same game. Your exact mileage on this may vary, but I would like to submit this scorched comebacker from Mike Tauchman, which only failed to embed itself in Pérez’s skull due to some fairly incredible, Matrix-esque reflexes from the pitcher:
Pérez may not have made the catch, but that ball was a fraction of a second away from connecting with his face. Instead it became a harmless single. Whew.