During the Phillies’ Thursday night game against the Pirates, a weird thing happened. Andrew Knapp was on first base, a bat flew into the stands, and then Knapp had suddenly scored, putting the Phillies up 1-0.
Here’s a good look at the play as we all saw it.
ok. so. Blanco's bat goes into the stands. pick off throw to first heads down the line like a screaming double. Knapp scores from first. pic.twitter.com/H3v85LH37k— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) July 6, 2017
It was extremely weird, especially since those kind of plays don’t usually happen to the Phillies. And if they do, they’re usually on the bad end, having made a mistake so stupid that it invites ridicule for days. So let’s break it down.
It was the bottom of the third inning, and Andrew Knapp had led off with a walk. So he was on first base when Andres Blanco came to the plate. Blanco ripped a huge swing on a pitch that ended up in catcher Elias Diaz’s glove. But Blanco let go of the bat, and it went sailing past the first base line and over the Phillies dugout toward the stands.
This is where things get interesting. Diaz had the ball and despite the flying bat, he threw it to Josh Bell at first base to presumably catch Knapp wandering off the base. But Bell wasn’t at first base. He himself had wandered off, and was standing a short distance away. What was he doing? Intently watching Blanco’s bat fly into the stands. He didn’t realize what was happening until the ball whizzed past him, and by then Knapp was already running as fast as his catcher’s legs would carry him.
this gif of Bell realizing the ball is heading straight by him is amazing. pic.twitter.com/p95mDZIvSm— chris jones¯\_(ツ)_/¯ (@LONG_DRIVE) July 6, 2017
Oh my god, the look on Bell’s face as the ball goes by him, it’s an instant classic. And Knapp gets a gold star for realizing what was happening instantly, and wasting no time getting his ass down to home plate.
That play was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen. But hey, now we know that Knapp can go first to home on a double.