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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Madison Bumgarner throws seven-inning ‘no-hitter’ vs. Braves; here’s why it won’t count as official no-no

Arizona Diamondbacks veteran left-hander Madison Bumgarner twirled seven hitless innings against the Atlanta Braves on Sunday. However, because the game was part of a doubleheader and thus spanned just seven innings, Bumgarner’s effort does not officially count as a no-hitter.

Here’s how MLB.com’s Matt Kelly not so long ago explained the rules clarification:

“According to the Elias Sports Bureau, Major League Baseball’s official statistician, neither a team nor an individual pitcher will be credited with a no-no in a scheduled seven-inning game of a doubleheader—unless that game goes to extras. If the contest extends to at least nine innings and that pitcher (or a team’s group of pitchers) has still not allowed a hit, then it goes down in the history books as a no-no.”

Kelly further explains that the ruling stems from a 1991 decision in which then commissioner Fay Vincent declared that no-hitters must span at least nine innings.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: April 25, 2021 at 06:57 PM | 63 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: madison bumgarner

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2021 at 07:39 PM (#6015331)
He had a 8.68 ERA coming into the game, following 2020's 6.48, so the DBacks are probably more excited that he can still get people out.
   2. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: April 25, 2021 at 07:49 PM (#6015333)
So stupid question.

Let's say 2nd game of a doubleheader, pitcher has a perfect game going into the top of the 9th.

2 sac flies and the ghost runner scores. He gets the last out and his team goes scoreless in the bottom.

Loses 1-0, no hits, no walks, no errors no HBP.

Is it still a perfect game?
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: April 25, 2021 at 07:50 PM (#6015335)
MLB made this bed - now they have to lie in it.
   4. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:13 PM (#6015360)
So stupid question.

Let's say 2nd game of a doubleheader, pitcher has a perfect game going into the top of the 9th.

2 sac flies and the ghost runner scores. He gets the last out and his team goes scoreless in the bottom.

Loses 1-0, no hits, no walks, no errors no HBP.

Is it still a perfect game?


It's not a stupid question at all.

Hell, under this idiotic new rule, a pitcher could theoretically post a season record of 0-162 without allowing a single baserunner.
   5. "bothsidesism" word 57i66135 Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:16 PM (#6015361)
for the first 10 years of my life, i thought a pitcher could throw a perfect game without throwing a no-hitter
   6. Walt Davis Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:24 PM (#6015365)
Super nitpick, the first one is not (anymore) a sac fly. :-)

I assume that's still a perfect game ... and with the sac fly, one with just 26 AB.

Hell, under this idiotic new rule, a pitcher could theoretically post a season record of 0-162 without allowing a single baserunner.

You never know but I suspect that if we still had pitchers regularly throwing CGs, preferably in about 2 hours, we wouldn't have this idiotic new rule.
   7. SoSH U at work Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:38 PM (#6015368)
As Andy said, that wasn't a stupid question at all.

Loses 1-0, no hits, no walks, no errors no HBP.


It is possible for a pitcher to throw a perfect game when his team makes an error.
   8. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:40 PM (#6015369)
You never know but I suspect that if we still had pitchers regularly throwing CGs, preferably in about 2 hours, we wouldn't have this idiotic new rule.

Totally agree. I still love baseball and always will, but the decline in complete games and the corresponding rise in strikeouts are the two worst developments in the past 40 or 50 years.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: April 25, 2021 at 10:47 PM (#6015374)
but the decline in complete games and the corresponding rise in strikeouts are the two worst developments in the past 40 or 50 years.


As awful developments go, everything takes a backseat to the time between pitches.
   10. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:32 AM (#6015417)
Worth noting that the Braves didn’t do much better in the other game - Zac Galen tossed a complete game, 1-hit shutout. Reportedly, that 1 hit is a record low for a ‘doubleheader’, although it seems a bit unfair to treat these shorty twin bills the same as those with each game scheduled for 9 innings, as was done back when men were men.
   11. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:52 AM (#6015418)
As awful developments go, everything takes a backseat to the time between pitches.
This. It's the dead time killing a game's flow.

It might've been stopped some 25 years ago, with an umpire telling Garciaparra, "Get your ####### ass in the box."
   12. Walt Davis Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:58 AM (#6015420)
Mike Hargrove laughs at your whining about Nomar.
   13. Howie Menckel Posted: April 26, 2021 at 01:22 AM (#6015422)
It is possible for a pitcher to throw a perfect game when his team makes an error.

if it is on a blunder on a catchable foul ball
   14. vortex of dissipation Posted: April 26, 2021 at 01:53 AM (#6015423)
This is MLB's official definition of a perfect game:

An official perfect game occurs when a pitcher (or pitchers) retires each batter on the opposing team during the entire course of a game, which consists of at least nine innings. In a perfect game, no batter reaches any base during the course of the game.


So a ghost runner, who was never a batter, does not invalidate a perfect game. As noted above, an error on a catchable foul ball does not invalidate a perfect game, either. So yes, theoretically a pitcher could lose a game on the ghost runner in extra innings rule, and if he retired every batter it would still be considered a perfect game, because no batter reached base.
   15. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 07:52 AM (#6015426)
if it is on a blunder on a catchable foul ball


And the batter is subsequently retired, yes.
   16. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 26, 2021 at 09:14 AM (#6015431)
Here’s another interesting situation:

Let's say a pitcher has a perfect game in a doubleheader. It goes into extra innings. He continues to be perfect in the top of the 8th, retiring all 3 batters. In the top of the 9th inning, he strikes out the first batter. The second batter lines out and the ghost runner gets doubled up at second base. The home team then wins it in the bottom of the 9th.

Based on the definition above, I guess that’s a perfect game, even though he only faced 26 “batters”?
   17. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: April 26, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6015433)
but the decline in complete games and the corresponding rise in strikeouts are the two worst developments in the past 40 or 50 years.

As awful developments go, everything takes a backseat to the time between pitches.


I'd say those three problems are interrelated, along with the rise of the launch angle mentality among players who aren't capable of hitting more than 10 or 15 homers a year while striking out 150 times. The excess time between pitches stems in large part from the fear on the part of pitchers that every batter is now a home run threat, not just the 3-4-5-6 hitters in the lineup. I'd love to see a strict enforcement of the time between pitches rule, but I'll believe it when I see it.

What made this all-time AL record scoring game possible to be completed in 2 hours and 50 minutes, while a comparable game today would be lucky to be over in 5 hours? How many factors go into this mammoth discrepancy?

   18. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6015437)
The excess time between pitches stems in large part from the fear on the part of pitchers that every batter is now a home run threat, not just the 3-4-5-6 hitters in the lineup. I'd love to see a strict enforcement of the time between pitches rule, but I'll believe it when I see it.


I don't agree. Batters and pitchers alike have been taking more time for decades, long before the lanuch angle trend or even before the silly ball era. It may be worse now, but it's merely the continuation of a long-developing trend.
   19. Howie Menckel Posted: April 26, 2021 at 09:56 AM (#6015439)
I noted in another thread:

The Padres and Dodgers needed a tidy 4 hours and 59 minutes to play 11 innings last night.

In 1985, I saw the Mets and Pirates take 5 hours and 26 minutes - to play 11, plus seven additional innings.

and I don't recall the pace of that game seeming "too frantic," lol
   20. bunyon Posted: April 26, 2021 at 10:40 AM (#6015444)
First, Bumgarner clearly threw a no-hitter. I don't care what MLB says, if a pitcher pitches a complete game and doesn't allow a hit, that's a no-hitter.

Second, the pace of play started problem started far earlier than generally thought. And it started at lower levels. Little league and high school coaches were preaching the need for hitters to step out and pitchers to take their time as soon as I started playing organized ball in the early 80s. It wasn't a new thing then and was generally accepted as a good idea for both parties. And I think it is obviously true that it IS good for both hitter and pitcher to take their time. Hitters hit better. Pitchers pitch better. Yes, both of these things can be true. Pitchers might need to change things up, disrupt timing and all that, but they throw harder and stay fresher when they take a few breaths between pitches.

What it isn't good for is the overall game. It isn't as fun to play, it isn't as fun to watch. Left to optimize behavior on their own, everyone playing will go slower. The only hope to fixing it is explicit regulation from MLB.
   21. KronicFatigue Posted: April 26, 2021 at 11:16 AM (#6015452)
Super nitpick, the first one is not (anymore) a sac fly. :-)


TIL

Um, was "Rule 10.08 Sacrifices", which defines sac flies as scoring only, really adopted in 1940? I've ALWAYS had that rule wrong?

Also, as for this part:

(d) Score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter hits a ball in flight handled by an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield in fair or foul territory that


does that mean if an infielder catches the ball say falling into the stands by 1st base, before getting to the outfield, and a run scores, it's not a sac fly?
   22. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 11:31 AM (#6015458)
does that mean if an infielder catches the ball say falling into the stands by 1st base, before getting to the outfield, and a run scores, it's not a sac fly?


I'd say that's how the rule should be applied. I'd also guess the average scorekeeper would score it a sac fly, and I don't know whether the league would override that (since no one is likely to appeal it).

   23. Perry Posted: April 26, 2021 at 11:46 AM (#6015461)
Um, was "Rule 10.08 Sacrifices", which defines sac flies as scoring only, really adopted in 1940? I've ALWAYS had that rule wrong?


No. Before 1940, you had it right. :-)
   24. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:03 PM (#6015464)
First, Bumgarner clearly threw a no-hitter. I don't care what MLB says, if a pitcher pitches a complete game and doesn't allow a hit, that's a no-hitter.


Devern Hansack is not recognized for throwing a no-hitter, despite completing this game with no hits allowed. Bumgarner's achievement isn't unique, and history says he clearly did not throw a no-hitter.
   25. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:05 PM (#6015465)
(d) Score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter hits a ball in flight handled by an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield in fair or foul territory that


Is an "outfielder" just someone who is standing in the outfield when the play starts?* Except for the pitcher and the catcher, players can stand anywhere they like (in fair territory). What if you've got an extreme shifts where the third baseman is standing in shallow right field?

(*I don't know how else to do it, but if 'yes', then you get weird results like second basemen playing really deep are actually outfielders.)
   26. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:12 PM (#6015468)
History says he clearly did not throw a no-hitter.


Recent history. Until 1991, both Hansack and Bumgarner's efforts would have been considered no-hitters. Fay's purge changed that.
   27. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:13 PM (#6015469)

Devern Hansack is not recognized for throwing a no-hitter, despite completing this game with no hits allowed. Bumgarner's achievement isn't unique, and history says he clearly did not throw a no-hitter.


Well, sort of. Until 1991, no-hitters shorter than 9 innings were recognized as such by MLB. Fay Vincent changed the definition in 1991, I believe in part due to this game in 1990, where Andy Hawkins pitched an 8-inning no-hitter, but didn't get to pitch the 9th because the Yankees were losing 4-0 and were on the road.

EDIT: Coke to SoSH
   28. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:15 PM (#6015470)
Is an "outfielder" just someone who is standing in the outfield when the play starts?*


Considering the rule covers infielders running into the outfield, I don't know that it matters*. But Kronic's question is a good one. By rule, a runner scoring on a foul popup that hasn't reached the outfield (say the first baseman has to lean into the stands) should not be considered a sac fly.**


* I guess a regular outfielder stationed on the infield could create some confusion, though, practically speaking, it's hard to imagine him catching a ball on the infield that could score a run.

** And honestly, it shouldn't be. Then again, sac flies shouldn't be considered sac flies, but rather run-scoring, at-bat generating plays the same way run-scoring grounders are.

   29. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6015473)
(d) Score a sacrifice fly when, before two are out, the batter hits a ball in flight handled by an outfielder or an infielder running in the outfield in fair or foul territory that


This is a weird definition in a bunch of ways. Does "running in the outfield" modify both "outfielder" and "infielder"? If an infielder is standing in the outfield when he makes the catch, rather than running, does it still count as a sac fly? :)
   30. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:23 PM (#6015474)
First, Bumgarner clearly threw a no-hitter. I don't care what MLB says, if a pitcher pitches a complete game and doesn't allow a hit, that's a no-hitter.
Devern Hansack is not recognized for throwing a no-hitter, despite completing this game with no hits allowed. Bumgarner's achievement isn't unique, and history says he clearly did not throw a no-hitter.
What may be unique is that Bumgarner's game lasted the full scheduled length, unlike a Hansackian complete game.
   31. pikepredator Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:36 PM (#6015475)
First, Bumgarner clearly threw a no-hitter. I don't care what MLB says, if a pitcher pitches a complete game and doesn't allow a hit, that's a no-hitter.


Agreed 100%. Rain-shortened, rule-shortened, whatever. It seems so straightforward to me it's hard to imagine making the decision to say "no, just because he completed the game without allowing any hits, well, that doesn't make it a no-hitter."

And if he pitches a no-no for nine and it's tied and goes 10/11 innings or whatever and he doesn't finish and/or give up hits in extras . . . not a no-hitter.
   32. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:55 PM (#6015484)
And if he pitches a no-no for nine and it's tied and goes 10/11 innings or whatever and he doesn't finish and/or give up hits in extras . . . not a no-hitter.


Yes. I agreed with knocking Haddix and Pedro out, but not Andy Hawkins or Matt Young.

Of course, one's official status isn't all that relevant. Haddix still has one of the five or so most memorable "perfect" performances, and four of them aren't official.


   33. fhomess Posted: April 26, 2021 at 12:58 PM (#6015485)
I've always thought sac flies are nonsense. Batters aren't really trying to hit a sac fly... they're still trying to get a hit. Maybe they try a little harder to elevate the ball, but ultimately it's the consequence of failing to hit it where they ain't and a fielder making a play. It's not like a bunt, where the batter is clearly intending to give up an out to advance a runner.
   34. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 01:02 PM (#6015486)

I've always thought sac flies are nonsense. Batters aren't really trying to hit a sac fly... they're still trying to get a hit. Maybe they try a little harder to elevate the ball, but ultimately it's the consequence of failing to hit it where they ain't and a fielder making a play. It's not like a bunt, where the batter is clearly intending to give up an out to advance a runner.


Exactly. And it would be one thing if the rules treated all run-scoring outs that way (a three-hopper to a shortstop playing back is also a sac), but to isolate the flyout from the groundout is particularly ludicrous.
   35. Nasty Nate Posted: April 26, 2021 at 01:03 PM (#6015487)
If someone attempts a sacrifice bunt, but the fielder throws out the lead runner, is that considered an At Bat?
   36. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 26, 2021 at 01:06 PM (#6015489)
If someone attempts a sacrifice bunt, but the fielder throws out the lead runner, is that considered an At Bat?


Yup, fielders choice.
   37. bunyon Posted: April 26, 2021 at 01:11 PM (#6015490)
Right. A no-hitter is a game in which the pitcher doesn't give up any hits.

Doesn't matter how they do it and I don't really care what MLB has to say about it.

Of course, one's official status isn't all that relevant. Haddix still has one of the five or so most memorable "perfect" performances, and four of them aren't official.

Five most memorable perfect performances?

Larsen
Shore
Haddix
Pedro
Galarraga

Those the ones you're thinking of?
   38. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 01:20 PM (#6015493)
Those the ones you're thinking of?


Four of them. I'd slot Koufax's (because he's Koufax) and Buehrle's (because of both Wise's catch and his subsequent outing) in ahead of Pedro's, but those are the only regular season, official perfect games that even have a case for Top 5 status. The top three are close to inarguable.
   39. SandyRiver Posted: April 26, 2021 at 02:02 PM (#6015501)
What made this all-time AL record scoring game possible to be completed in 2 hours and 50 minutes, while a comparable game today would be lucky to be over in 5 hours? How many factors go into this mammoth discrepancy?

112 PA, 21 walks but only 6 strikeouts. In addition to all the issues noted above, the 85 PA not BB/K must've had a lot of 1st/2nd pitch swinging (and hitting).
   40. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6015507)
I've always thought sac flies are nonsense. Batters aren't really trying to hit a sac fly... they're still trying to get a hit.


I always thought it was interesting (and appropriate) that a sac fly is the only non-at-bat that can end a hitting streak. If you go 0-for-0 in a game with a sacrifice fly, your hitting streak is officially over.

Exactly. And it would be one thing if the rules treated all run-scoring outs that way (a three-hopper to a shortstop playing back is also a sac), but to isolate the flyout from the groundout is particularly ludicrous.


Nah, it makes sense. Batters really are trying to elevate the ball in that situation. With a man on third and one out, no one goes to the plate thinking, "If I can just hit a routine grounder to the shortstop..."
   41. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: April 26, 2021 at 02:26 PM (#6015512)
Randy Johnson's perfect game was pretty memorable to me, coming against the Braves. My wife attended the game while she was an undergrad.

Humber's and Braden's were notable because of how ho-hum the pitchers were.
   42. bunyon Posted: April 26, 2021 at 02:34 PM (#6015516)
Johnson's is my favorite because it's the only one I watched start to finish. Dad was visiting and we decided to watch it the way we used to watch every Braves game on TBS. He'd planned to go to bed early but, obviously, ended up staying up to the end.

Cone's is my least favorite because it happened on my first wedding anniversary and I turned down a free ticket to the game because, in my mind, you couldn't ditch your wife to go to a ball game with friends on your anniversary. My wife, who is not terribly sentimental about dates, thought that was stupid. We had a nice dinner anyway and then came home to discover I'd missed a perfect game. She laughed and laughed and laughed. Mention it to her and she'll start laughing again. I've heard her start laughing at the mere mention of David Cone.

   43. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 02:35 PM (#6015517)
Nah, it makes sense. Batters really are trying to elevate the ball in that situation. With a man on third and one out, no one goes to the plate thinking, "If I can just hit a routine grounder to the shortstop..."


Well, to me a fly ball to center with nobody on looks exactly like one with a runner on third.

They're all trying to get hits. These shouldn't be sacrifices.
   44. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 02:36 PM (#6015518)
I've heard her start laughing at the mere mention of David Cone.


Most other people probably laugh at the mention of Cone for an entirely different reason.
   45. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: April 26, 2021 at 03:05 PM (#6015523)
I'd be fine saying a sac fly is an at bat but I think it makes some sense for it to be treated differently than a ground out. A run scoring ground out is a bit of a defensive indifference situation. The infield is positioned in such a way that they don't care (much) about the run scoring. A sac fly is a situation where the batter is doing something affirmative; hitting a fly ball; that does require a specific approach. Hitters in that situation are looking for a pitch to elevate, the good ones aren't chasing something in the dirt early in the count.
   46. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 03:20 PM (#6015526)

I'd be fine saying a sac fly is an at bat but I think it makes some sense for it to be treated differently than a ground out. A run scoring ground out is a bit of a defensive indifference situation. The infield is positioned in such a way that they don't care (much) about the run scoring. A sac fly is a situation where the batter is doing something affirmative; hitting a fly ball; that does require a specific approach. Hitters in that situation are looking for a pitch to elevate, the good ones aren't chasing something in the dirt early in the count.


Again, a flyout in that situation looks exactly like one with the bases empty. We don't know if they were specifically looking for a pitch they could hit into the outfield or merely trying to get a base knock and a flyball was the result, so why try to divine their motives?
   47. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: April 26, 2021 at 03:32 PM (#6015528)
...hitting a fly ball; that does require a specific approach. Hitters in that situation are looking for a pitch to elevate...


Along the lines of SoSH, what's the evidence? Since there's a swing-for-the-fences mentality widely in place—or, put differently, fewer and fewer groundball hitters—I don't see guys hit a sac fly and think he tailored his approach to a situation. Ditto if he strikes out.

And sac flies sure seem to be decreasing. 2000–2019:

1514
1424
1399
1336
1363
1315
1396
1441
1365
1366
1301
1274
1223
1219
1277
1232
1214
1168
1235
1150
   48. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 26, 2021 at 03:38 PM (#6015530)
My wife, who is not terribly sentimental about dates, thought that was stupid. We had a nice dinner anyway and then came home to discover I'd missed a perfect game. She laughed and laughed and laughed. Mention it to her and she'll start laughing again. I've heard her start laughing at the mere mention of David Cone.
We’ll assume she has some redeeming features.
   49. The Yankee Clapper Posted: April 26, 2021 at 03:40 PM (#6015532)
I've always thought sac flies are nonsense. Batters aren't really trying to hit a sac fly..
In some situations, I think they do, with some being more skilled at it.
   50. Tom Nawrocki Posted: April 26, 2021 at 04:00 PM (#6015537)
And sac flies sure seem to be decreasing. 2000–2019:


Along with every other offensive event during that time frame, aside from strikeouts.

If sac flies had increased over a period when league-wide OBP went from .345 to .323, now that would be a story.
   51. My name is Votto, and I love to get Moppo Posted: April 26, 2021 at 04:25 PM (#6015543)
And sac flies sure seem to be decreasing. 2000–2019:


This probably goes hand-in-hand with the rising K-rate. I imagine almost every batted ball (except HRs) are going down, down, down.
   52. Eric J can SABER all he wants to Posted: April 26, 2021 at 04:42 PM (#6015549)
And sac flies sure seem to be decreasing. 2000–2019:

This probably goes hand-in-hand with the rising K-rate. I imagine almost every batted ball (except HRs) are going down, down, down.


It's partly the general lack of balls in play, but it's also the slow death of the rally as a scoring method in baseball. Plate appearances with runner on third, less than 2 outs (that is, sac fly opportunities) were 10982 in 2000, 9232 in 2019 - a 16% drop. Overall plate appearances with RISP dropped by about 13% over the same timeframe, from 52416 to 45494.

I miss rallies.
   53. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: April 26, 2021 at 04:42 PM (#6015550)
And sac flies sure seem to be decreasing. 2000–2019:

1514
1424
1399
1336
1363
1315
1396
1441
1365
1366
1301
1274
1223
1219
1277
1232
1214
1168
1235
1150


That sac fly trend seems to look pretty inversely proportional to the strikeout trend. (In 2000, 16.1% of non-strikeout PAs with a man on third and less than 2 out ended in a SF, in 2019, that was 15.4% - not a significant difference). What that tells us about the overall point is still up for debate, since maybe that's simply evidence that batters aren't changing their approach - they're just doing what they normally do and, in 2019, that means striking out more often. On the other hand, it might be that batters are striking out more BECAUSE they're already looking to hit the ball in the air, so they don't have to change much to accomplish their goal of getting the runner home. If it's the latter, do they still deserve credit for a sacrifice?

One piece of data that partially supports the notion that trying to hit sacrifice flies is intentional - the strikeout rate in all situations is higher than with a runner on third and less than 2 out (16.5 vs. 14.5% in 2000, 23.0% vs. 19.6% in 2019), which indicates that contact is up. But I don't know of a way to parse the data that shows whether fly ball rates increase in runner on third situations. There is an increase in contact, but whether that's disproportionately flyballs vs groundballs, I don't know.

I'm of the opinion that a lot of hitters do change their approach with a runner on third and less than two outs. And I like the notion of a sacrifice fly being erased from the batter's record. However, I think there's a valid point that without a more deliberate signal of intent or a larger change in approach (i.e. a sacrifice bunt), it doesn't make a lot of sense to distinguish a sacrifice fly from a plate appearance ending in a normal fly out, or a sacrifice fly from a plate appearance where the batter hits the ball on the ground to the right side to move a runner from second to third. It would make me sad to see sacrifice flies disappear from statistical pages, but there would be a logical consistency to it.
   54. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: April 26, 2021 at 04:51 PM (#6015551)
(In 2000, 16.1% of non-strikeout PAs with a man on third and less than 2 out ended in a SF, in 2019, that was 15.4% - not a significant difference).


One piece of data that partially supports the notion that trying to hit sacrifice flies is intentional - the strikeout rate in all situations is higher than with a runner on third and less than 2 out (16.5 vs. 14.5% in 2000, 23.0% vs. 19.6% in 2019), which indicates that contact is up.


How do numbers like these compare to when there is a runner on third and there are 2 outs? Point being, are we actually seeing a difference between runner on third and <2 outs vs. runner on third with 2 outs?
   55. Walt Davis Posted: April 26, 2021 at 06:33 PM (#6015575)
I no longer get too worked up about no-hitters (perfect games still very impressive) but ... I always though rain-shortened no-hitters felt cheap. But if MLB is going to have officially defined 7-inning games then Bumgarner's is a no-hitter. If MLB doesn't like that, stop having 7-inning DHs.

EDIT: And I thought batters were credited with a sac fly that advanced a non-scoring runner when I was a kid then the rule changed sometime in the 70s but seems like I'm wrong about that.

The logic on the sac fly is that the defense has no choice in the matter, there's no way to throw out the runner from there. You could put in a Johnny Damon clause where the scorer can decide any professional ballplayer should have been able to throw out a guy from there. And of course you could add a similar rule for GBs if they are hit somewhere no play at the plate is possible.
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: April 26, 2021 at 07:03 PM (#6015578)
The logic on the sac fly is that the defense has no choice in the matter, there's no way to throw out the runner from there. You could put in a Johnny Damon clause where the scorer can decide any professional ballplayer should have been able to throw out a guy from there. And of course you could add a similar rule for GBs if they are hit somewhere no play at the plate is possible.


Or, you know, recognize that we have no idea just what the batter was trying to do when he swung away, and just treat it as the out that it is.

A sacrifice should be obvious and undeniable. When you square to bunt, you're clearly giving yourself up to advance the runner. No sacrifices on flyballs. No sacrifices if you're trying to beat out a bunt and happen to move the runner over. Give these nice productive outs an RBI, where applicable, but don't waive the AB.

Hell, if you want to do away with sacs altogether, that would be just fine. But allowing run-scoring flyballs to count and not doing the same for run-scoring singles is simply ridiculous.
   57. Jobu is silent on the changeup Posted: April 27, 2021 at 07:14 AM (#6015625)
As awful developments go, everything takes a backseat to the time between pitches.
Except Matt Shepard in the Tigers' booth. That's far worse. I suppose they are somewhat symbiotic, as time between pitches gives Matt more time to crawl up Jack Morris' ass.
   58. SandyRiver Posted: April 27, 2021 at 09:23 AM (#6015636)
In some situations, I think they do, with some being more skilled at it.

Situation can be important. 3 runs down in the 9th, you don't want to trade an out for a run. When a medium fly ball means a walk off, looking to elevate is the way to go.
   59. SoSH U at work Posted: April 27, 2021 at 09:35 AM (#6015639)
Situation can be important. 3 runs down in the 9th, you don't want to trade an out for a run.


And this highlights the folly of the rule. If you're down three runs in the ninth and hit a run-scoring flyout to right, you're still going to get credited with a sac fly regardless of the fact that simply getting the run across was not your motivation.

   60. GregD Posted: April 27, 2021 at 09:49 AM (#6015640)
Braden’s is not top five memorable but is a pretty widely loved moment in the east bay and other As territory. Partly because Braden is a goofy and self deprecating and impressively bearded broadcaster, partly because of his hunt for his grandmother to hug at game’s end (she has to be the only grandparent to see an MLB perfect game by their grandchild in person), partly because his story of his prior nights drinking and morning hangover is colorful and gets more colorful each year

He was voted a top 50 all time Oakland A which he acknowledged was ridiculous but reflected that one moment
   61. bunyon Posted: April 27, 2021 at 11:11 AM (#6015655)
<i>I no longer get too worked up about no-hitters (perfect games still very impressive) but ... I always though rain-shortened no-hitters felt cheap. But if MLB is going to have officially defined 7-inning games then Bumgarner's is a no-hitter. If MLB doesn't like that, stop having 7-inning DHs.,/i>

It's absolutely cheaper if it's shorter. Doesn't make it not a no-hitter. A shorter perfect game would also be cheaper. A hitting streak where the guy goes 1 for 5 every night is cheaper than one where he bats .600. Still a streak.

The phrase "no-hitter" means the other team didn't get any hits. That's it.
   62. Karl from NY Posted: April 27, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6015710)
Why can't we just record both categories? "Full no-hitter / perfect game" for the current 9-inning definition, "shortened no-no / perfecto" for anything else like Bumgarner or Hawkins or Hansack or perhaps the proposed 26-batter game by retiring a ghost runner. BBRef already has such a listing, it seems silly for MLB not to.
   63. phredbird Posted: April 27, 2021 at 05:01 PM (#6015724)

i was with the 'yes to the no-hitter' side of the debate until yesterday when i watched mike wilbon do one of his idiotic rants, calling MLB 'stoopid' about one hundred times.

so now i'm siding with The Man, just because.

Not a no-hitter.

actually, who cares? it was cool no matter what.

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