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Billy Butler's triple and 5 infield singles

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Oakland Athletics designated hitter Billy Butler does not have a wheels tool. He has five infield singles and a triple anyway.

Billy Butler is not known for his speed. It's fun when not speedy baseball players accomplish tasks usually reserved for speedy baseball players, or at least average speed baseball players.

I therefore present Billy Butler's five infield singles and his triple. There are many gifs. Please be patient. Baseball Reference actually credits Butler with nine infield hits, but that includes four occasions where the ball continued to an outfielder after glancing off an infielder's glove.

April 10 vs. Seattle

With the bases loaded and one out, the Mariners infield was at double play depth as Billy Butler grounded a bouncer to the left-side hole:

This infield single happens because:

  • Shortstop Willie Bloomquist is at double play depth, because otherwise he can can that ball off further in and throw out Butler.
  • Bloomquist has the range to go to his right and cut that ball off before it becomes a run-of-the-mill single to left.

Butler beats the throw by a step.

May 23 at Tampa Bay

With nobody out, the simple description, "Billy Butler singles on a soft line drive to second baseman Nick Franklin" should pique your interest:

This infield single happens because:

  • Nick Franklin has the range to prevent the ball from going to the right fielder but not enough range to catch the ball on the fly.
  • There's nobody out, so the infielders are at normal position, as double play depth would allow the ball to be a normal base hit to right.

Butler beats the throw on a bang-bang play.

May 25 at Detroit

With one out and runners on the corners, Billy Butler grounds a ball similar to his April 10 play, except this time Tigers shortstop Dixon Machado got it on the backhand rather than on an all out dive, but thought he had time to get the runner advancing from first.

He did not, and everybody was safe. But here's the thing. I think a more careful scorer calls this a fielder's choice:

Look where Billy Butler is after the umpire has had time to signal safe. Still not at first base! If Dixon Machado gets up and throws strongly to first, and given that Butler only beat out Willie Bloomquist by a step on April 10, Butler might be out.

June 17 vs. San Diego #1

With two outs and a runner on first, Billy Butler hits a broken bat ball up the middle to the shortstop side of second base. The Padres infield was shading Butler to pull, so second baseman Cory Spangenberg ran it down and threw strong with his momentum going in the wrong direction to fire a one-bouncer to first baseman Yonder Alonso.

It's another bang-bang play, but Butler is clearly safe. Alonso reacts like he can't believe there was even a chance to get Butler out on that play:

Butler gave that run EVERYTHING HE HAD:

June 17 vs. San Diego #2

With two outs and two on, Billy Butler hits another ground ball to the shortstop side of second base with the Padres infield shading Butler to pull. Cory Spangenberg couldn't do anything with it, and everybody was safe.

Interim Padres manager Pat Murphy and his coaches have a look that is best described as "welp."

July 1 vs. Colorado: The Triple

That was Billy Butler's first triple since August 9, 2012, and his second since September 1, 2009.

This has been Billy Butler's triple and five infield singles.