One of the best things about great players is the way that they make the extraordinary almost look routine. Although the Orioles season has had its share of disappointments, it has also had its share of sparkling plays in the field, especially involving the best infield buddies, Manny Machado and Jonathan Schoop.
Machado and Schoop struck again early in the Orioles game against the Rays on Monday night, turning a ground ball into a double play that most infield combos probably wouldn’t have been able to convert into one out, let alone into two. Check out this bit of defensive wizardry:
Manny Magic to end the 1st! #Birdland pic.twitter.com/uTSBkimb1Z— Baltimore Orioles (@Orioles) July 24, 2017
MASN’s Gary Thorne is as awed as you’d expect from him after that display of brilliance, but even one of the Rays broadcasters after the same play proclaimed it the best double play that he had seen all year.
How does Machado even do it? Lightning reflexes to get to that hard shot in the first place, and then, as his momentum is carrying him towards foul territory and the outfield, spins and fires a hard strike to Schoop at second. Then, Schoop catches the ball with just one leg on the ground and relays to first to just beat the runner, Evan Longoria, to the bag. It’s really something else.
We’re lucky to have these guys on our favorite baseball team here in Birdland. Hopefully the Orioles can convert this magic into a win on Monday night.