In baseball, a triple play (denoted as TP in baseball statistics) is the rare act of making three outs during the same continuous play. Triple plays happen infrequently – there have been 717 triple plays in Major League Baseball (MLB) since 1876, an average of approximately five per season – because they depend on a combination of two elements, which are themselves uncommon: First, there must be at least two baserunners, and no outs. From analysis of all MLB games 2011–2013, only 1.51% of at bats occur in such a scenario. By comparison, 27.06% of at bats occur with at least one baserunner and fewer than two outs, the scenario where a double play is possible. Second, activity must occur during the play that enables the defense to make three outs. Common events – such as the batter striking out, or hitting a fly ball – do not normally provide opportunity for a triple play. A ball hit sharply and directly to an infielder, who then takes very quick action – or unusual action, confusion, or mistakes by the baserunners – is usually needed.
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