The loveliest, most impressive plays in baseball are often one-sided. One player from one team makes something glorious happen. Sure, an opposing player had to put a ball in play or throw a pitch, but after that moment, their participation stops and it's down to the guys on the other team to make baseball happen. In Monday's game between the Rays and White Sox, though, Chicago center fielder Adam Eaton joined forces with his Rays counterpart to give us two wonderful baseball moments that rolled together into one.
Matt Joyce started things off with a deep fly to center field with Jennings on second base and only one out. Eaton, as he does, tracked it down and made a catch that robbed Joyce of extra bases:
Eaton immediately realized that Jennings was on base and could run for third, so it was time for some quick thinking:
Jennings also played this perfectly/is super fast:
Rather than heading halfway to third, he waited at second, realizing that he was going to be good-to-go almost no matter what. Eaton could catch the ball in one of the deepest parts of the park, and Jennings could advance. It could be a homer, and it wouldn't matter how fast Jennings moved. Or, Eaton could misplay the ball, and Jennings would have plenty of time to take off. It ended up being the first scenario, with a little bit of a bonus, as Eaton fell down after the splendid grab, meaning Jennings could truck it all the way to home.
Eaton did his part by keeping Joyce from hitting a run-scoring double or triple, but Jennings didn't let the opportunity to score go to waste.
The video shows the entire sequence with multiple angles, and also features the emotional roller coaster that is Hawk Harrelson as he realizes it's not just Adam Eaton who has done his job here.