Game 115 // Eighth Inning, Arizona // The LeMahieu Shift



This wasn’t so much an inning as it was a play. A moment. An at-bat.

Specifically…. a shift.

The very weirdest you’ll ever see. Weird. Weird weird. Incredibly weird.

Oh, and the inning? That was pretty good, too.

You’ve got an NL West battle for home-field Wild Card supremacy. You’ve got the Rockies scoring three, then the D-Backs scoring two. An inning going back and forth, a lot on the line.

You’ve got all that, you’ve got a lot.

But this shift? This shift was something else.


“The LeMahieu Shift is on,” they say on the broadcast. “There is NO ONE in left field.”

Just to remind you all, D.J. LeMahieu is a right-handed hitter. Right-handed. He pulls the ball—assuming he must sometimes pull the ball—to left-field. The Diamondbacks have just put out a defense with no left-fielder.

If the guy doinks a fly ball anywhere between the foul line and left-center, it’s a stand-up double. The game is tied. This is no meaningless game. What the f*ck are they thinking?

Even for true pull hitters they’d never put on a shift on like this.

You’ve got the Ted Williams shift, sure—but that was Ted Williams. Is DJ LeMahieu Ted Williams? 



Oh and you’ve got that Dodgers shift. The f*ck was that?



But even IF LeMahieu hits balls the opposite way more than anyone else… surely he can knock one the other way IF THERE’S NO LEFT-FIELDER AT ALL?

But then—something weirder than all that happened. LeMahieu readies, the count at 1-1, the pitch comes…………

And he hits a triple. To right field. TO RIGHT FIELD.

They have two right-fielders, and he hits a line-drive triple off the wall. TO RIGHT FIELD.



How is that possible? It’s the guy’s third hit of the game to right field, they’ve got the funkiest shift since Ted Williams in place, and he hits a triple to right field.

There’s not much else to say, other than, well, baseball is weird.



PS: Check out how the whole inning played out here—helluva lot of managing, no? Pitching change, pinch-hitter, pitching change, pitching change, LeMahieu Shift, mound visit, pitching change, pitching change, pinch-hitter, pinch-runner, pitching change.