The phrase “I’ve seen it all before” never should be applied to watching baseball.

The Washington Nationals provided further evidence of that Friday night, pulling off a play of extreme rarity in their contest against the San Francisco Giants. With the bases loaded and nobody out in the eighth inning, Giants batter Brandon Crawford hit a line drive right at Nationals first baseman Ryan Zimmerman. Here’s what happened next:

Zimmerman stepped on first base to record the second out, then fired to third base to nab Giants baserunner Denard Span, who scampered for home and didn’t realize the ball had been caught. That gave Washington a rare triple play, the first since the franchise moved to the nation’s capital in 2005.

But the play also made baseball history, as the 3-3-5 triple play was the first of its kind — ever — in Major League Baseball.

As expected, the unique feat also greatly benefited the Nationals by helping them escape a bases-loaded, nobody-out jam. Washington took care of business in the ninth to pick up a 4-1 win, its third in a row, and extend its National League East lead over the New York Mets to six games.

Thumbnail photo via John Hefti/USA TODAY Sports Images