Make it a triple — D-backs unleash three-bagger barrage in Wild Card win

Oct 4, 2017, 11:03 PM | Updated: Oct 5, 2017, 12:00 am
Arizona Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley rounds the bases on his two-run triple against the Colorado Ro...

Arizona Diamondbacks' Archie Bradley rounds the bases on his two-run triple against the Colorado Rockies during the seventh inning of the National League wild-card playoff baseball game, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

PHOENIX — You ever heard of the Boston Americans?

No, it’s not a new show on FX this fall starring Mark Wahlberg or Matt Damon. The Boston Americans were a baseball team — a precursor to the Red Sox — and once upon a time they had two games in which they hit five triples in a World Series game. Yes, they did it in Game 5 and Game 7 of the 1903 World Series against the Pittsburgh Pirates, which they won five games to three (don’t ask).

Why am I bringing this up? Because from October of 1903 until October of 2017, no Major League club ever had as many as four triples in a game. The Arizona Diamondbacks broke that 114-year streak with a historic performance in their wild, 11-8 National League Wild Card Game victory over the Colorado Rockies at Chase Field Wednesday night.

Shortstop Ketel Marte started the triple party in the second inning with a run-scoring shot that plated David Peralta and gave the D-backs a 4-0 lead. Marte followed that up with a one-out triple in the fourth inning off of Rockies reliever Chris Rusin. With that, Marte, who had only two triples in 223 regular-season at-bats, became the first player since Philadelphia’s Mariano Duncan in 1993 to have two triples in the same postseason game.

They weren’t done.

After Colorado cut the Arizona lead to 6-5 in the seventh inning, reliever Archie Bradley hit for himself with two outs in the bottom of the seventh against Pat Neshek and laced a 2-2 pitch to the wall in center field, scoring Jake Lamb and Daniel Descalso and putting Arizona back up by three runs.

Bradley became the first relief pitcher in baseball history to triple in a postseason contest.

The popular set-up man thought about stopping at second.

“I would have much rather just taken a nice jog into second base, stood up and taken my double there,” Bradley said. “But it’s just kind of who I am. I don’t know any other way to play.

“So I was going to run as hard as I could until they told me to stop.”

You’ve got to excuse him — he had been only 6-for-61 at the plate in his big-league career.

The roof nearly came off of the stadium after Bradley’s clutch hit, but the knock wouldn’t be enough for a win. The Diamondbacks, who saw Colorado close to within one run in the eighth after back-to-back home runs by Nolan Arenado and Trevor Story, would need one more three-bagger to cinch it.

A.J. Pollock was the culprit, tripling off of reliever Greg Holland — Colorado’s seventh pitcher of the night — and knocking in J.D. Martinez and Jake Lamb.

Four triples. In 3,276 games in D-backs regular-season and postseason history, Arizona had never had that many in a contest. So, of course, it would happen in the team’s first playoff game in six years, right?

“This ballpark, with big gaps, the ball can move quickly through the grass,” Arizona manager Torey Lovullo said following the game. “I think triples in this ballpark don’t totally surprise me. But if you compile four in one game, it’s a little bit of a shock.

“After one day, I think I’ve seen everything, and this was an incredible game.”

Well said, Mr. Lovullo. Well said.

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Make it a triple — D-backs unleash three-bagger barrage in Wild Card win