Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Eric Bruntlett, The Walking Trivia Answer

Thinking about Eric Bruntlett over the past few days, a funny thing occured to me. For a guy with as little talent and accomplishment as he has, Bruntlett has carved out a nice little piece of Phillies history for himself.

Since arriving in Philadelphia prior to the 2008 season, Bruntlett is hitting .199 with two home runs and 21 RBI with the Phillies while appearing in 181 games.

However, look at what he's done...

- His arrival is a bit of a piece of history, given that he was part of the deal that brought Brad Lidge to Philadelphia. Lidge promptly went a perfect 48-48 in save opportunities through the regular and postseason.

- He scored the game-winning runs in games three and five of the 2008 World Series against Tampa, only the Phils second World Series championship in their long (long) history.

- Now he is the owner of an unassisted triple play on August 24th, 2009 against the Mets, only the second game-ending unassisted triple play in major league history.

What is especially interesting about Bruntlett is that none of his accomplishments really reflect any particular ability. Some baseball anomalies (four homers in a game, a 20-strikeout game) take a particular skill set that sets you apart even from other pro baseball players, such as tremendous power or a great set of pitches. Bruntlett's pieces of history contain none of that. He was a secondary piece as part of a trade for a closer, on his two game-winning runs in the World Series he pinch-ran and stayed in the game defensively for the historically slow Pat Burrell, and now he was covering second base as runners broke from first and second and a line drive was hit right at him, leaving him only to catch, step and tag.

For whatever reason Bruntlett, not Chase Utley or Jimmy Rollins or any of the other star players the Phillies have, consistently finds himself a part of unique Phillies history. And good for him.

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