While Nate McLouth has been given most of the credit for last night’s epic Orioles win, and deservedly so, let us not forgot the stellar defensive trickery pulled by third baseman Manny Machado.
With a runner at second and two outs, Machado charged a weakly hit ground ball off the bat of Evan Longoria, he pumped to first as though he was attempting to throw out the runner which pulled Rich Thompson off the bag at third base. Machado then tossed to shortstop J.J. Hardy, covering third, who then threw home catching Thompson in a rundown for the final out of the ninth inning.
That ended up being Tampa Bay’s last chance.
It was a heads up play unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Rays skipper Joe Maddon was equally impressed. ”That’s a nice play for a veteran, let alone a guy that’s 20 years old,” he said tipping his cap to the Birds young stud.