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Game 114 // Eighth Inning // The LeMahieu Shift

This wasn’t so much an inning as it was a play. An at-bat.

With the weirdest shift you’ll ever see. 

 

And the inning? 

There’s an NL West battle for home-field Wild Card supremacy. There’s the Rockies scoring three, then the D-Backs scoring two. An inning going back and forth, a lot on the line.

There’s all that.

But this shift? The shift was something else.

  

 

“The LeMahieu Shift is on,” they say on the broadcast. “There is no one in left field.”

 

Just to remind you, D.J. LeMahieu is a right-handed hitter. Right-handed. He pulls the ball—assuming he must sometimes pull the ball—to left-field. The Diamondbacks have just put out a defense with no left-fielder.

If the guy doinks a fly-ball anywhere between the foul line and left-center, it’s a stand-up double. The game is tied. This is no meaningless game. What are they thinking?

 

There was the Ted Williams shift—but that was Ted Williams. Is D.J. LeMahieu Ted Williams? 

 

 

 

Oh and there was that Dodgers shift.

 

 

 

But even if LeMahieu hits balls the opposite way more than anyone else… surely he can knock one the other way if there’s no left-fielder at all? 

But then—something weirder than all that happened. LeMahieu readies, the count at 1-1, the pitch comes…

And he hits a triple. To right field. TO RIGHT FIELD.

They have two right-fielders, and he hits a line-drive triple off the wall. TO RIGHT FIELD.

 

 

How is that possible? It’s the guy’s third hit of the game to right field, they’ve got the funkiest shift since Ted Williams in place, and he hits a triple to right field.

Baseball is weird.

 

VERY VERY WEIRD.

 

PS: Look at how the whole inning played out—pitching change, pinch-hitter, pitching change, pitching change, LeMahieu Shift, mound visit, pitching change, pitching change, pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, pitching change.

 

 

 

VERY VERY WEIRD INDEED.