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Overanalysis: Alex Avila's unassisted double play

Alex Avila pulled off the first unassisted double play by a catcher since the early '90s tonight against the Tampa Bay Rays.

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Full disclosure: this play doesn't really need the Overanalysis treatment, it was just too long to make into one GIF without SB Nation's servers hating me for the rest of my life. So instead, it gets the Tumblr treatment. Let's go to the tape.

The Setup

With men on first and third, Sam Fuld got a first-pitch fastball that caught more plate than Doug Fister and Alex Avila planned. Fuld, being the scrappy slap hitter he is, grounds it sharply to first base.


Somehow, he's already halfway down the first base line when the camera cuts away.

The Unsung Hero

Prince Fielder makes a nice diving stop on the play, then fires a strike to Avila at the plate, who has Jose Lobaton dead to rights. Both the dive and the throw deserve all the credit for making everything else here possible.


The Bait

Instead of turning and sprinting back to third, Lobaton gives himself up in order to get Escobar into scoring position, preferably to third base.


Notice here that Lobaton takes a quick look over at Escobar to see how long he needs to stall. Avila, meanwhile, continues to run Lobaton towards third because there's nobody at home plate.

The Execution

This part is pretty self-explanatory. Credit Miguel Cabrera for reading the play and getting out of Avila's way.


The fist pump at the end is pretty solid too.

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