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With An Unassisted Triple Play, Phillies Second Baseman Saves The Day

Philadelphia Phillies' second baseman Eric Bruntlett, right, completes an unassisted triple play to end the game against the Mets at Citi Field in New York, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009. Henny Ray Abrams/AP Photo hide caption

toggle caption Henny Ray Abrams/AP Photo

Philadelphia Phillies' second baseman Eric Bruntlett, right, completes an unassisted triple play to end the game against the Mets at Citi Field in New York, Sunday, Aug. 23, 2009.

Henny Ray Abrams/AP Photo

In New York yesterday, at Citi Field, Eric Bruntlett, the second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies, made a game-ending unassisted triple play, what The Philadelphia Inquirer called "one of the rarest occurrences in the wacky game of baseball."

It was the second time in the cockeyed history of the major leagues that a game ended on an unassisted triple play. The first was May 31, 1927, when Detroit Tigers first baseman Johnny Neun ended a game against Cleveland, but it's not likely Neun got the same sense of satisfaction as Bruntlett.

So, what exactly is an unassisted triple play? The Straight Dope has the answer, buried in its archives:

You've got men on first and second. The batter hits a hard shot to either (a) the shortstop or second baseman, who catches it to put out the batter, touches second, retiring the lead runner, and then tags out the runner arriving from first, or (b) the first baseman, who tags out the first base runner and then runs to second before the lead runner can return.

Yesterday afternoon, the Phillies beat the New York Mets 9-7.

To see a video of the play, click here.

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