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Catcher Alex Avila has a 2-Triple Game

Posted by John Autin on June 9, 2011

Two triples tonight for Tigers backstop Alex Avila.
Here are the 2-triple games by catchers in the past 40 years:

Rk Player Date Tm Opp Rslt PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SO SF GDP WPA RE24 aLI BOP Pos. Summary
1 Miguel Montero 2010-09-26 ARI LAD W 5-4 4 4 1 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.321 1.946 1.060 5 C
2 John Buck 2009-04-30 KCR TOR W 8-6 4 3 0 3 1 2 0 5 0 1 0 0.225 4.028 .902 8 C
3 Jason Kendall 2000-07-01 PIT PHI L 3-4 4 4 1 2 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.033 0.518 1.013 2 C
4 Ivan Rodriguez 2000-05-12 TEX ANA W 13-11 5 5 4 3 0 2 1 2 0 0 1 0.061 2.161 .952 3 C
5 Brad Ausmus 1999-07-06 DET NYY L 8-9 5 4 2 2 0 2 0 0 2 0 0 0.060 1.442 1.100 2 C
6 Jeff Reed 1991-09-29 CIN SDP W 8-1 4 4 1 2 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 -0.019 1.858 .493 8 C
7 Dave Valle 1987-06-26 SEA KCR W 5-1 4 4 1 4 0 2 0 3 0 0 0 0.370 4.073 .998 6 C
8 Steve Nicosia 1984-07-18 SFG STL L 4-8 5 5 1 3 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0.107 1.273 .890 7 C
9 Tony Pena 1983-08-02 PIT PHI W 10-3 4 4 2 3 0 2 0 1 0 0 0 0.185 1.816 .488 7 C
10 Butch Wynegar 1983-07-08 NYY KCR W 9-2 4 4 2 3 0 2 0 4 0 0 0 0.123 3.746 .798 7 C
11 Lance Parrish 1980-09-27 DET NYY W 5-1 4 4 1 3 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0.169 2.897 .715 5 C
12 Butch Wynegar 1980-05-17 MIN MIL L 11-14 4 3 1 2 0 2 0 3 0 1 0 0.043 2.234 .383 9 C
13 Larry Cox 1979-09-25 SEA MIL L 6-7 4 4 2 2 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 0.067 2.007 1.200 9 C
14 Darrell Porter 1978-06-04 KCR CHW W 13-2 5 5 1 5 1 2 0 1 0 0 0 0.100 3.165 .348 8 C
15 Steve Swisher 1976-08-11 CHC CIN L 10-13 4 4 1 3 0 2 0 4 0 0 0 0.144 3.535 .325 5 C
16 Fred Kendall 1973-08-22 SDP PHI W 8-3 5 5 1 4 1 2 0 3 0 0 0 0.263 3.381 1.142 5 C
17 Carlton Fisk 1972-06-03 BOS KCR L 4-10 4 4 1 2 0 2 0 0 1 0 0 0.133 0.516 .595 8 C
Provided by View Play Index Tool Used
Generated 6/9/2011.

(Um ... Lance Parrish? I guess you had to be there.)

There have now been 74 two-triple games by catchers since 1919. None of them managed a "triple trifecta," and only 3 added a HR -- Ivan Rodriguez, Elston Howard and Bill Dickey.

By the way, Avila is at or near the top of MLB catchers in every offensive measure, leading the way with:

  • 25 extra-base hits (9 HRs, 3 triples, 13 doubles)
  • 3 triples (tied with J.P. Arencibia, who also tripled tonight)
  • .924 OPS*
  • 146 OPS+* (before tonight)

* Among qualifiers for the batting title.

62 Responses to “Catcher Alex Avila has a 2-Triple Game”

  1. Steve Says:

    Kendall and Ausmus were pretty fast.Kendall at one point looked like a sure star(a catcher who could bat leadoff!).Always wonder would would have happened if Biggio stayed at catcher for more of his career.Tony Pena was the only catcher in the early 80's I remember who ran well(John Stearns was already done).

  2. Neil L. Says:

    What the heck is up with triples this year?

    Parks still have the same dimensions as last year, although it is the year of the pitcher.

    Wow, Avila vs Arencibia

  3. oneblankspace Says:

    Interesting that Tim McCarver is not on this list, and would not be even if the dates were to be extended to his 1966 season when he led the league in triples.

  4. Dukeofflatbush Says:

    @ 1

    Kendall broke his leg bad during his best season. I don't think ever fully recovered. He still managed to put together decent career #'s for a catcher. I wonder why no one gave him a job this year, or was it his decision to call it a career?

  5. John Autin Says:

    Pop quiz: There's one repeater on the list. What's funny about him having two 2-triple games?

  6. DevilsAdvocate Says:

    Hey - a father and son combo, the Kendalls!

  7. Steve Says:

    5 Wynegar,he only had 15 in his whole career.

  8. Steve Says:

    6 Yeah I caught that,first I thought "nah,could it be?".

  9. Steve Says:

    4 I don't know if he chose to hang it up.He did have a good career,just not as good as I thought.

  10. Steve Says:

    Relatively few catchers have scored a 100 runs in a season even once.Who were the only guys to do it multiple times?How many catchers have had more than 110 runs scored in a single season?

  11. John Autin Says:

    @7, Steve -- That's close to the triples factoid I'm looking for on Wynegar, but not quite it.

    @6, DevilsAdvocate -- Great spot on the Kendall kombo. And how about this? Fred Kendall and son Jason even went to the same high school -- Torrance High in Torrance, CA.

  12. Hartvig Says:

    I was going to comment about the notoriously light hitting Brad Ausmus hitting #2 for Detroit in 1999 but his 0.365 OBP actually led the team that year.

  13. Steve Says:

    11 I think I got it.He only hit 3 total in 1980 and the 2 in 83 were the only 2 he hit all year.

  14. topper009 Says:

    Since we are talking about catchers and triples Ill mention that the Brewers current color man Bill Schroeder only hit 1 career was also his first career hit! Not sure if he holds that distinction alone.

  15. Timmy P Says:

    Wow Carlton Fisk catches 116 games at age 42 and106 at age 43. And from what I remember he did it well.

  16. Voomo Zanzibar Says:

    Why is Lance Parrish a surprise?
    Was he notoriously slow?
    The guy had a lot of power and that game was in old Tiger Stadium.

    He never played in Triple-A
    And as a rookie he hit into a Triple play.

  17. Timmy P Says:

    Also Paul Konerko had another great night and is looking at another great year. As of right now he is sitting on a fat 380 HR's. He will pass 400 this year with 2 years remaining on a big contract. Looks for good for Paully to get to 450, 465, 480?? No steroids and a WS championship. You can put it on the board, yyyeeeessssss!

  18. John Autin Says:

    @13, Steve -- Bingo!

    @14, Topper009 -- Bill Schroeder! Fantastic. That guy had some serious HR power.

    But believe it or not, there are 3 modern players who got a triple for the only hit of their career. Charlie Lindstrom (son of HOFer Freddie Lindstrom) tripled in his only official at-bat! And guess what position Lindstrom played?

  19. John Autin Says:

    @16, Voomo -- Yes, Parrish was notoriously slow. But that's a good point about Tiger Stadium. His rate of triples was about 3X as high there as in all other parks combined.

  20. topper009 Says:

    @5 I was going to say he only had 1 career multi-HR game but apparently 2 career mutli-3B games

  21. topper009 Says:

    Since you brought up 1 game guys Ill also mention that the brother of the greatest hitter of all-time, John Paciorek (, Jim Paciorek made an amazing diving catch in left field to preserve the only no-hitter in Brewer's history by Juan Nieves, a game that Bill Schroeder caught.

    Full circle

  22. Voomo Zanzibar Says:

    It is possible that he didn't know he was slow.
    His nickname was Big Wheel and he had a stolen base in the World Series.

  23. John Autin Says:

    @17, Timmy P -- 'Nerks is off to another fine start. And with one swing tonight, he moved past 2 HOFers in career HRs, Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez.

  24. John Autin Says:

    @22, Voomo -- LOL. Is that like Wile E. Coyote not knowing that he's run over the edge of the cliff?

    @21, Topper009 -- Great work, but I'm withholding the "Full Circle" seal of approval unless you can bring it all the way back around to "Big Wheel" Lance Parrish! 🙂

  25. Darrel Says:

    Jason Kendall has been on the DL all year for the Royals. They expect him back sometime this summer. Shoulder surgery if I recall.

  26. John Autin Says:

    @20, Topper009 re: Wynegar -- You are on fire tonight! That's an even better factoid than I dredged up. I am jealous.

  27. topper009 Says:

    Playing around with the Play Index I just learned the player with the most career hits but 0 triples is another former Brewer backstop, Johnny Estrada. 576 hits in 2244 PA with 0 triples, easily leading this list which is also full of mostly catchers.

    7th place in this dubious category is another son of a HOFer, Earl (Douglas) Averill.

  28. Voomo Zanzibar Says:

    1987 Donruss
    Nieves was #90
    Parrish #91

  29. topper009 Says:

    @24, Schroeder and Parrish were teammates on the 1990 Angels, but seems a little too easy for this challenge...Ill keep working

  30. John Autin Says:

    Neil L. -- Sorry about the game result, but how about 30-year-old rookie Mike McCoy drawing 4 walks from the leadoff spot tonight? Only other 2 Blue Jays shortstops ever had a 4-walk game.

  31. John Autin Says:

    @29, Topper009 -- There's no "right answer" for a Parrish-Schroeder connection; I was just having some fun. If I can dig up my signet ring and some hot wax, the Full Circle Seal of Approval is yours.

  32. John Autin Says:

    Matt Kemp is a single short of the cycle, with one AB to come.

    No recap tonight. Gotta catch up on my sleep! Good night, everyone.

  33. Johnny Twisto Says:

    What the heck is up with triples this year?

    What do you mean? I'm inferring you think there's been a crazy amount of them, maybe based on this post and the recent Reyes post. There's fewer triples being hit this season than in MLB history.

  34. Timmy P Says:

    @23 Orlando Cepeda and Tony Perez! Wow that's great company I wasn't aware he passed those guys tonight. Paully still has some gas in the tank though and I hope he stays healthy the next 2 years.

  35. topper009 Says:

    @31, I know, I just wanted to find a real gem like the only runner Schroeder ever picked off was Parrish or Schroeder stole his only base off of Parrish. I did find that Parrish hit his first career HR on Schroeder's birthday however...

    I also saw that Schroeder (or Rock, his nickname) hit only 61 HRs but had 6 multi-HR games. That seems like a lot, for 9.836%. Anyway to find out the leaders in that category, say min 50 HRs or 1000 PA?

    Babe Ruth had 74 multi-HR games for 10.36%
    Barry Bonds had 75 multi-HR games for 9.843%
    Mark McGwire had 72 multi-HR games for 12.35%

    Seems like Schroeder may appear on this list and really look like an outlier.

  36. Jimbo Says:


    That White Sox commentator is so annoying. How does he do that awful call for every single home run?

  37. Evil Squirrel Says:

    I was at the Buck game in 2009. When he hit the double in the 8th, I remember rooting for it to avoid the outfielders long enough for him to get that third triple, rarified air for anyone let alone a catcher. Alas...

  38. Timmy P Says:

    @36 You are obviously refering to Ken " Hawk" Harrelson. Hawk has been doing that call for over 23 years, and he is extremly popular with Sox fans. I love listening to him not only for his HR call, but for his overall unorthodox way of calling the game. Hawk is a jock, but he does the play-by-play and often times when the Sox are getting beat he likes to stop talking for long stretches. He often trys to coax balls hit toward the foul poles to "stay fair, stay fair" if they are hit by one of the Sox. He has a well known man-crush on Carl Yazstremsk calling him "best I ever seen". He is from Augusta Georgia and has a sweet southern accent and likes cotton candy. Hawk is an exellent announcer, however he was also the Sox GM at one time and was maybe the worst GM in baseball history. He fired Tony LaRussa. Hawk is a mans-man and doesn't like grown men that whine or try to show-off. Hawk is the very opposite of a metrosexual, and if younger he would probably enjoy punching them. He recently called out Jose Bautista of the Jays for being upset for popping out with a big lead. I happened to have disagreed with Hawk on that, but that's Hawk.

  39. Johnny Says:

    Avila has played great this season. He should make the all-star team.

  40. Timmy P Says:

    Did anybody see the HR Lance Berkman hit tonight? It was like an optical illusion it went so far. I saw on a message board that the place it hit was 472' away from home plate, but that it was not even on it's way down yet. I saw it on the computer because I don't have a TV, and I really could not believe what I was seeing. This ball had at least another 100' of travel in it if they would have been outside. After he hit it, Berkman just looked down, like he was embarrassed!

  41. Johnny Twisto Says:

    How would Hawk have called that one?

  42. Timmy P Says:

    I have my map of Houston out, some NASA charts, and a slide-rule and am estimating that Berkman's HR would have travled 627' and 4". He was aided by the fact that Houston is close to the tropics, and no doubt the Coriolis force.

  43. Timmy P Says:

    @41 Hawk would have been all most silent assuming of course this homer was hit against the Sox. Hawk would not have said anything until Berkman was rounding 3rd, and then he would have said "dad gummit". Then he would have launched into a story about how far Mickey Mantle used to hit them and that he would occasionally play golf with the Mick.

  44. Larry R. Says:

    No John Wathan, huh? A little surprising. He had great footspeed for a C.

  45. LJF Says:

    Steve Nicosia? Steve Nicosia!! 1 career triple before that game, none afterward.

  46. John Autin Says:

    @40, Timmy P -- Can you help me find a video of the Berkman HR? The A.P. game story doesn't mention it being a monster shot -- in fact, it gives the distance as just 416 feet. I know those estimates are notoriously inaccurate and I'm not doubting your description; I just wish I could see it for myself.

  47. BalBurgh Says:

    Kendall was on fire the year he trashed his leg. He was hitting like crazy and throwing out base-stealers like a terminator. Oh yeah, and he was a very effective base-stealer himself. He never really recovered, though I've always followed him and he's had a long, reasonably productive career. I wonder how it could have been if he'd stayed healthier.

    I also never knew about his father. Good find. Ha ha, does he have any sons?

  48. John Autin Says:

    @33, Johnny Twisto makes a good point about this year's MLB triples rate being low -- I can't compare it to the all-time average, but it's a slightly lower percentage of PAs than any of the previous 5 seasons.

    For my part, I feel that I am noticing triples more this year -- which is not the same as noticing more triples -- probably because I watch a lot of Reyes. And perhaps a lot of us are more attuned to triples this year with the decline in HRs over the past few years; there may be a natural tendency to assume that if big flies are down, the speed game should be up.

    For the record, though, I haven't written that triples are up this year; I've just remarked on the ones that seem remarkable.

  49. John Autin Says:

    @1 Duke / @47 BalBurgh, re: Kendall's shattered ankle possibly affecting the rest of his career:

    Kendall broke the ankle in July 1999. In 2000, he had a very good year -- .320 BA / .412 OBP, 112 Runs, career highs in HRs and Total Bases. And he felt good enough to attempt 34 steals. And the Pirates felt good enough to give him a 6-year, $60-million extension after the 2000 season.

    Just from the stat line, he seemed healthy in 2000. Were there further complications from that injury?

  50. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Kendall subsequently screwed up his thumb, and that well-run organization he was with convinced him to play through it. I believe that was his major problem.

  51. Johnny Twisto Says:

    Looks like that was in 2001.

  52. Lawrence Azrin Says:

    Timmy P Says: "...@36 You are obviously refering to Ken " Hawk" Harrelson... ... Hawk is an exellent announcer.."

    In what alternate universe is this true? I have the MLB Extra-Innings package, and I can't listen to more than a few minutes of him and his totally partisan views . I loved him in 1968 when he led the AL in RBI, and he was willing to be critical of the Red Sox when he was an announcer for them (from 1975 to 1981), but now his extreme hometownism is just grating. I suppose if I where a White Sox fan I might feel differently.

  53. BalBurgh Says:

    @49 John / @50 JT, You may be right about the thumb but I lost track of such details as I moved away from Pgh in '02. His rate stats were career bests the year he got hurt (naturally there is no guarantee he keeps it up for the whole year), his dWAR was comparatively good for him, and even though his line looks decent the following year his stolen base % never recovered nor did his throwing out of baserunners.

    IMO he was just never quite the same.

    BTW he and Brian Giles were both set up with similar contracts at the same time, with some convincing from a dying Willie Stargell who let them know that if they stayed in town they would be remembered and loved forever there--which I believe would have been true if they had won anything. That, of course, wasn't going to happen given the aforementioned atrocious management. As an individual move I don't believe the contracts were a bad idea, they just weren't effective in context.

  54. Cap Says:

    Avila is a fan favorite in Detroit. He should make the ASG.

  55. Timmy p Says:

    @46 John Autin - keep up the great work!

  56. John Autin Says:

    @55, Timmy P. -- Thanks ... and thanks!

    That was a bomb by Berkman. It made me think of Heywoud Broun's famous description of a Babe Ruth WS moon shot:

    "The ball started climbing from the moment it left the plate. It was a pop fly with a brand new gland and, though it flew high, it also flew far."

    (That was the column that featured the classic opening, "The Ruth is mighty and shall prevail.")

  57. Neil L. Says:

    JA, thanks for the sympathy on last night's Tor/KC result. Is there any story in baseball that you miss? 🙂

    Sure couldn't be Tony Fernandez!

  58. nesnhab Says:

    @38 Funny you should call Hawk Harrelson the "opposite of metrosexual."

    I recally during his playing days writers (Roger Angell was one) commented on his wearing flashy clothes.

  59. John Autin Says:

    @57, Neil L. -- I have a soft spot for the Jays and the O's, given the competition in the AL East.

    Regarding 4-walk games by Toronto shortstops ... would you believe, Alfredo Griffin and Rance Mulliniks? Griffin, who did it in his ROY '79 season, later had a whole season in which he drew just 4 walks, in over 400 PAs (1984).

    Mulliniks, who was primarily a 3B, did it in 1983, when he played only 15 games at SS. He was a darn good hitter from '83 through '88, with a combined 124 OPS+ and .374 OBP. It helped that he had platoon-mate Garth Iorg to face the lefties.

  60. Richard Chester Says:


    I found the names of two players with 400+ PA who had fewer walks than Griffin. They were Ossee Schrecongost with 3 in 1905 and Whitey Alperman with 2 in 1909. Andy Kosco had 1 walk with 228 PA in1970. For most PA without a walk I found to be Ed Walsh with 156 PA in 1907.

  61. Johnny Twisto Says:

    I recally during his playing days writers (Roger Angell was one) commented on his wearing flashy clothes.

    Hawk? Never!

  62. John Autin Says:

    Johnny T -- If you must post such graphic images, for cripes' sake, put up a "viewer discretion" warning. Think of the children! That medallion is now seared into my retinas....