Brandon Marsh almost sets record on bizarre play at home plate against Reds

The Phillies outfielder launched an impressive throw to home that was just the beginning of a weird play.
Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins
Philadelphia Phillies v Miami Marlins / Rich Storry/GettyImages

It looked like it would be a routine sacrifice flyball to center field. It was anything but.

In the first inning of the Philadelphia Phillies-Cincinnati Reds game on Monday night at Citizens Bank Park, the routine play unfolded, and it turned out to be an incredible play by Phillies center fielder Brandon Marsh. Reds designated hitter Jonathan India turned the incredible play into a bizarre one.

After India tripled off Phillies starter Cristopher Sánchez to lead off the game, left fielder Spencer Steer flew a ball out to center field. It wasn't deep, just 256 feet. Marsh, in his first start in center field this season with Johan Rojas getting a night off, set up and threw a rocket to the waiting J.T. Realmuto at home, who tagged Jonathan India to complete the unexpected double play.

And when we say Marsh's throw was a rocket, that's not an exaggeration. Marsh launched his throw at an eye-popping 99.3 mph. As MLB's Sarah Langs posted shortly after the play, Marsh's frozen rope is the second-fastest tracked outfield assist by a Phillie during the Statcast era (which started in 2015).

For those interested, the fastest outfield assist is credited to Roman Quinn's 99.9 mph assist on May 23, 2022.

Here's the play:

The bizarre thing about this play was how India came home without a slide on such a close play. Realmuto had to scale the ladder to receive the throw, and when he came down, instead of seeing India sliding at his feet, he saw the Red still on his feet. The Phillies catcher got his arms out in front of him and applied the tag before India's foot touched the plate.

Originally, and curiously, called safe, the Phillies challenged and easily had the call overturned.

If India had slid, he likely would have been safe, and Marsh's throw wouldn't have been credited as the second-fasted outfield assist. Marsh owes a thank you to India and Reds teammate Christian Encarnacion-Strand, who wasn't standing in the runner's line of sight while indicating India should slide, as John Kruk pointed out on the broadcast.

An impressive play by Marsh, and a strange decision by India.