An embarrassing mental lapse by Los Angeles Angels left fielder Daniel Nava led to arguably the most bizarre double play in MLB history.
Even though it happened during a spring training game, it still counts in the annals of odd plays.
In the top of the fifth inning of Tuesday's game in Tempe, Arizona, Seattle Mariners third baseman Kyle Seager hit a fly ball just short of the warning track in left field. Nava had plenty of time to camp under the ball and record the out.
And then craziness unfolded.
Nava—who made his MLB debut in 2010—thought the inning was over, so he turned and tossed the ball into the crowd beyond the left field wall. The only problem is there were now just two outs in the inning—and a runner was on base.
By rule, the Mariners' Stefen Romero, who was on first base at the time of the pitch, was awarded two bases because the ball was thrown out of play.
As if all of that wasn't weird enough, there's more.
Romero did not realize he had to tag up, as a runner is required to do in order to advance on a normal flyout. He was between first and second at the time of Nava's mental lapse and just proceeded to go to third base. Wisely, Angels manager Mike Scioscia had his team appeal.
Out. "Double play" complete.
"We've been working on that play a lot this spring," Nava joked, per Alden Gonzalez of MLB.com. "I skipped a lot of the beginning math classes in California. Obviously I didn't stay up on my accounting. But my [two-year-old] daughter, she'll teach me tonight how to count to 10. Or to three."
Fittingly, the game ended in a 4-4 tie.
It's not unheard of for a player to lose track of outs during a contest. Throughout the course of a 162-game season (not including spring training and the postseason), it's bound to happen. However, this may be the first time that a team has gotten a second out on the play.