The triple is notoriously difficult to come by. Whereas Major League teams are averaging 8½ hits, 1.69 doubles, and 1.07 home runs per game this season, they have averaged just 0.18 triples per game.
The scarcity of triples is no aberration. You just don’t see many triples in baseball. The last time baseball’s average triples got higher than 0.30 per game was 1954.
But these are your 2016 Red Sox, equipped with an explosive offense. No surprise, then, they started Wednesday already leading the American League with 13 triples and collected two more that evening, both coming off the bat of catcher-turned-outfielder Blake Swihart. In 2016 the Sox are averaging 0.33 triples per game.
With his two triples Swihart joins Mookie Betts and Jackie Bradley as the third Red Sox batter this season with a multiple triple game. No other club has more than one such player this season: the Cardinals Kolten Wong, the Giants Gregor Blanco, and the Rockies Trevor Story.
No Red Sox team has had three or more players with multiple triples in games of the same season since Carl Yastrzemski, George Scott, Joe Foy, and Tony Conigliaro managed it in the 1967 season on April 16, May 16, June 23, and July 19, respectively.
Before the 2016 Red Sox, the last team to have three players with two triples in a game during the same season was 1992. In that year the Phillies Mickey Morandini, Tom Marsh, and, in a twist of fate, current Red Sox first base coach Ruben Amaro each managed two triples in games on July 18, September 13, and September 26 of that year, respectively. Also in 1992, the White Sox Steve Sax, Lance Johnson, and Tim Raines managed the feat in games on May 17, September 14, and October 1, respectively.
Sox Offense Making Quick Impressions
Wednesday’s was Boston’s 46th game of 2016. That the Red Sox have three players with multiple-triples games so early in the season underscores this Boston team’s potent offense.
You have to go back to the 1962 Pirates—54 years ago—to find another club that has accomplished what the Red Sox have so quickly. In that year, Pittsburgh’s Bill Virdon, Bob Skinner, and Don Hoak managed their triple threat on May 16, May 25, and June 2nd, respectively. That last game was, as Boston’s was Wednesday, the club’s 46th of the season.
Since at least 1913, Boston had never achieved such a feat before Game #46.