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AZ SnakePit Awards: Play of the Year (Corner infield division)

First and third bases are the next stop, on our tour of the best plays this year by the Diamondbacks.

MLB: New York Mets at Arizona Diamondbacks Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The corner infield were the most stable spots for the Diamondbacks, with Paul Goldschmidt starting 153 games and Jake Lamb 140. This is reflected in the selection of plays from these two positions. We have one each featuring Goldschmidt and Lamb, two in which they combined - and one to remind us that, occasionally, someone else did play these two positions with Arizona in 2017!

April 27: Goldschmidt turns pop-up into double-play vs. SDP

There were any number of possible scoops, leaping grabs and making the difficult look easy, which could have been chosen to represent Goldschmidt here. But this play perhaps was the one in 2017 which best illustrates the incredible smarts and in-game awareness which he possesses. The immediate reaction of any player when the ball is popped towards them is to grab it. But Goldy instantly assessed the situation, saw what the runner on first was doing, and decided to let the ball fall. This allowed everyone to cross off the 3-4-6 double-play on their D-Bingo card [not 1-4-6 as the video caption states: Paul’s talents have not yet stretched to pitching!]

July 27: Lamb goes crowd-surfing vs. STL

One under-rated skill required by corner infielders is having to deal with the varying arrangements of foul territory, and Jake showed himself a master of the art here. It’s always harder on the road, especially somewhere like St. Louis where there is a vast expanse of ground beyond the lines to cover. Lamb covered a great deal of turf here, sprinting after a pop-up as it curved towards the seats. If he’d bailed out as he approached the low wall separating fans from the field, no-one would have complained about the effort. Instead, he made the grab, then toppled over into the crowd and held on for the out.

August 15: Lamb from foul ground, Goldschmidt with the tag vs. HOU

A good play on both ends here. First, we see Jake, playing back behind third-base roaming well into foul territory to grab the ball, which was corkscrewing that way after passing the bag. Even though he was virtually running away from first-base he was able to turn and get a strong throw over towards Paul at first-base. While it was off-line, and did pull our first-baseman off the bag, it was still good enough for Goldschmidt to corral. He was then able to sweep his glove back and tag the runner as he motored up the line, for the out.

August 17: The old 5-3-5 double-play vs. HOU

Even rarer than the 3-4-6 double-play above! This was again the result of alert play on both ends. With a runner on second base, Lamb had to come well into the infield to get a chopped ball to the left side of the infield, and fired it across to Goldschmidt for the first out. The runner, seeing Jake pulled out of position, attempted to advance to third, but Lamb was already hustling back to cover the hot corner. Goldschmidt was not caught napping either, and fired a strike back across the diamond to third, where Lamb applied the tag. The resulting out call successfully withstood an umpires’ review from the Astros.

September 8: Twin killing, with both outs at home plate vs. SDP

As mentioned, there were a few games in which other players were involved at the corner infield spots. Daniel Descalso was second in innings played at both first and third base, behind Goldschmidt and Lamb respectively, so it’s only fair he deserves a mention. This is another case where mental alertness was perhaps more important than physical prowess. With a man on third, Patrick Corbin struck out the batter, but as a dropped third strike, Chris Herrmann had to throw down to Descalso to complete the out. The runner tried to come home from third, but Descalso didn’t panic, and returned the ball right back to the catcher, who applied the tag to get the second out and end the inning.

Poll

Which corner infield play should qualify for Play of the Year

This poll is closed

  • 21%
    April 27: Goldschmidt turns pop-up into double-play vs. SDP
    (8 votes)
  • 28%
    July 27: Lamb goes crowd-surfing vs. STL
    (11 votes)
  • 21%
    August 15: Lamb from foul ground, Goldschmidt with the tag vs. HOU
    (8 votes)
  • 13%
    August 17: The old 5-3-5 double-play vs. HOU
    (5 votes)
  • 15%
    September 8: Twin killing, with both outs at home plate vs. SDP
    (6 votes)
38 votes total Vote Now