Stepping to the plate for his first home at-bat as a member of the New York Yankees was a big moment for Todd Frazier. The 31-year-old grew up in nearby New Jersey, and had between 500 and 600 friends and family members come out to watch him play for the team he admired as a kid.
Frazier had a prime opportunity to become a “true Yankee” in his first at-bat at Yankee Stadium. In the second inning, Frazier stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and no outs. He had a chance to become a hero and endear himself to the home crowd in just one at-bat.
That didn’t happen. In fact, you might argue Frazier’s first at-bat at Yankee Stadium couldn’t have gone any worse. On the fifth pitch from Luis Castillo, Frazier grounded into a triple play.
The ball was more of a weak line drive to shortstop Jose Peraza. It took a bounce at the last minute before Peraza scooped up the ball in his glove.
Because of that, Didi Gregorius wasn’t sure whether he could advance to third base. He took a few steps off second after Frazier made contact, but had to wait to see if Peraza would catch the ball on the fly. Gregorius was caught in no man’s land, and took a few steps back to second right as Peraza makes the play.
Instead of trying to tag Gregorius, Peraza remained focused on picking up the double play. He stepped on second for the force out, and threw to first to nab Frazier.
Since Gregorius hesitated initially, he was still stuck between second and third. Reds first baseman Joey Votto noticed, and threw the ball to third baseman Eugenio Saurez to catch Gregorius in a run down. After a quick back-and-forth, he was tagged out to complete the triple play.
The only saving grace for Frazier is that Matt Holliday managed to score from third on the play. His early run gave the Yankees a 1-0 lead in the second inning.
Somehow, Frazier’s triple play actually helped the Yankees. After helping the Yankees win the contest 4-2, Frazier might just get the “true Yankee” designation despite the strange result during his first home at-bat.
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