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Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Rookie Detmers no-hits Rays in 11th career start

Before Tuesday’s game against the Rays, Angels manager Joe Maddon noted that while rookie lefty Reid Detmers had been improving in his recent starts, he hadn’t quite reached his top gear yet on the mound.

Detmers did more than just that, as the 22-year-old made history in just his 11th career start by throwing a no-hitter against the Rays in a 12-0 win at Angel Stadium. He struck out just two and walked one, but kept Tampa Bay’s hitters off-balance, getting 11 groundouts and eight flyouts. He needed a career-high 108 pitches to record the no-no, getting Yandy Díaz to ground out to shortstop for the final out.

It was the 12th no-hitter in Angels history and the first since Taylor Cole and Félix Peña memorably combined to throw one against the Mariners on July 12, 2019, in the club’s first home game since the death of pitcher Tyler Skaggs. And it was the first individual no-hitter since Jered Weaver threw one against the Twins on May 2, 2012. It was also the second no-hitter thrown in the Majors this year, as five Mets pitchers combined to throw one against the Phillies on April 29.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:52 AM | 62 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: angels, no-hitters, rays, reid detmers

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   1. The Gary DiSarcina Fan Club (JAHV) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 01:09 AM (#6076210)
There was all sorts of luck involved in this one, but it was fun anyway. Or maybe fun because of the sheer number of balls in play there were. I only saw the last five innings, but Detmers wasn't pitching all that well. His stuff was just okay, and he was getting behind in counts a TON, but he'd battle back and then get the Rays to fly out somewhere. It was cool to watch.

Also fun - Mike Trout destroying an eephus pitch from Brett Phillips, and Anthony Rendon doing the same...LEFT-HANDED! Rendon had not taken a left-handed at bat in his career, and I think, as much as anything, he was kind of trying to get out since they were trying to get Detmers back out there before he got cold. But he got a hold of one and drove it out to right. Not a cheapie, either.
   2. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 11, 2022 at 04:20 AM (#6076216)
I don't know how lucky he was. I was fortunate enough to be at the game -- by the way, the single best regular season game I've ever had the fortune to be present for -- and Detmers made it look almost hilariously easy. With the exception of a drive to the wall by Ramirez, the Rays didn't really hit anything hard. There weren't any great desperate diving plays to save the no-no, nothing that should have gotten through but didn't. He just threw strikes, and nobody squared him up even enough to get lucky.

The Rendon lefty homer was insanity. The whole night, from Ohtani's award(s) presentation to the no-hitter Gatorade bath, was a pure delight.
   3. Bret Sabermatrician Posted: May 11, 2022 at 07:00 AM (#6076220)
I'm not an unwritten rules guy, but running a position player out to pitch in the bottom of the 8th when the other team has a no hitter going seems worse than trying to bunt to break up a no hitter.
   4. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: May 11, 2022 at 07:17 AM (#6076223)
I remember the 2002 season had a number of moments that just made you shake your head and smile. For example, David Eckstein hitting grand slams on back to back days against the Blue Jays. This season is giving me the same vibes.
   5. tonywagner Posted: May 11, 2022 at 07:52 AM (#6076225)
How rare is it these days for a team to only strike out 2 times in 28 PA?
   6. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 11, 2022 at 08:14 AM (#6076226)
What would be the equivalent in other major sports to either:
1) bringing in a position player to lob in some pitches in the bottom of the 8th of an 8-0 game...a few days after the Mets scored 7 runs in the 9th to win a game;
2) having one of your players do what Rendon did, hitting lefty as a lark.

It is all kind of fun, in a silly, kids on the playground kind of way, but I don't think you see this in any other sport, right? In basketball, they put in the end of the bench, but those guys are still trying really hard, even in a 40-point game. In football, they generally avoid big contact, but everybody is still playing. Is there something like this in soccer?
   7. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 11, 2022 at 08:15 AM (#6076227)
How cool was it to be there Hombre? One thing I've never seen in person I'd love to see.

Detmers was fantastic. I loved watching him work in the ninth. Just get it and go.
   8. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 11, 2022 at 08:50 AM (#6076228)
6 - I think having a regular skater play goalie (or a goalie playing forward) in hockey would be similar. It doesn't happen. The Rendon thing I can't imagine what it would be. Maybe a kicker trying an extra point with the wrong foot?

I didn't like the Rendon thing. I mean it's pretty amazing and I'm sure was a ton of fun for everyone (well maybe not Phillips though he seems like a chill dude) but it felt like the wrong side of the line between "let's have some fun" and "this is all a total joke."

Thrilled for Detmers though. Saw him pitch at Fenway last week and then last night he wasn't messing around. Get it, get on the mound, throw the ball. Just fun to watch. Don't really know anything about him but he looks awfully good.
   9. SoSH U at work Posted: May 11, 2022 at 08:57 AM (#6076229)
Maybe a kicker trying an extra point with the wrong foot?


Flutie drop-kicked a PAT under Bellichick.
   10. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 09:04 AM (#6076231)
Jordan shot some free throws left handed in one game against the Pistons. That was more to show off, but similar concept.
   11. BDC Posted: May 11, 2022 at 09:18 AM (#6076233)
Interesting ... most crazy out-of-position things in football are legitimate (if surprise) plays. "Refrigerator" Perry's TD catch in 1985 was in the second quarter with the Bears trailing 3-0.
   12. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 11, 2022 at 09:21 AM (#6076234)
Jordan shot some free throws left handed in one game against the Pistons. That was more to show off, but similar concept.


Different reasons but Bo Kimble in the 1990 (?) NCAA tournament shooting lefty freethrows.
   13. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 09:24 AM (#6076235)
What would be the equivalent in other major sports to either:
1) bringing in a position player to lob in some pitches in the bottom of the 8th of an 8-0 game...a few days after the Mets scored 7 runs in the 9th to win a game;
2) having one of your players do what Rendon did, hitting lefty as a lark.


My absolute hot take:

Barring injury, MLB should either require teams to use actual pitchers or allow the teams to make a mutual decision to end the game. If one team has, in effect, admitted they're not going to win the game, or even particularly try, what is the point?

That said, if, barring injury, your opponent chooses to do that, I'm absolutely a proponent of swinging away and running up the score. For two reasons:

1. The teams play again tomorrow. Get 45 straight XBH, turn it in to an embarrassment, and force the Rays to go to the bullpen for a real pitcher to get those outs.

2. Who knows what kind of incentives guys have in their contracts? If someone jacks a 3-run HR and later in the season, hits some RBI mark, good for him.

You don't have to oblige your opponents' request to get through the game as easy as possible
   14. JimMusComp misses old primer... Posted: May 11, 2022 at 09:55 AM (#6076238)
#13: Completely agree.

The Angels lit him up for like 8 hard hit balls. Three for outs.

   15. Ziggy: social distancing since 1980 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 09:56 AM (#6076239)
I wanted Philips to get out of there quickly so detmers could finish things off, but the trout home run was fun. From the second he stepped into the batters box you could tell he knew he was about to hit a mammoth home run.
   16. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 11, 2022 at 10:08 AM (#6076240)
How rare is it these days for a team to only strike out 2 times in 28 PA?


Doesn't quite answer your question but from MLB.com;

Detmers joined Francisco Liriano (for the Twins on May 3, 2011) as the only pitchers in the past 42 seasons to throw a no-no without notching more than a pair of strikeouts.
   17. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 11, 2022 at 10:10 AM (#6076241)
I was fortunate enough to be at the game -- by the way, the single best regular season game I've ever had the fortune to be present for -- and Detmers made it look almost hilariously easy.


This makes me happy.
   18. Brian C Posted: May 11, 2022 at 10:13 AM (#6076242)
IMO the biggest problem with conceding the game down 8-0 is that it's still possible to win the game. Teams don't get 8 runs in an inning very often, but it's not so rare that it's remarkable when it happens, either. Admittedly it's rarer when it happens in the 9th inning, but still - we just had *2* 9th-inning comebacks from down 6 runs in the last week, so it's hard for me to believe that 8 runs is too impossible to try.

If they were already down 12-0 going into the 8th, I guess I can see it more. But down only 8 is conceding too much. There's real dishonor in quitting a game you can still win.
   19. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 10:30 AM (#6076243)
If they were already down 12-0 going into the 8th, I guess I can see it more. But down only 8 is conceding too much. There's real dishonor in quitting a game you can still win.

Agree, especially when the cost of continuing to try is effectively nil. The idea that saving 1-2 IPs for an 8-man bullpen is a meaningful gain is just ludicrous.
   20. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 11:13 AM (#6076247)
Down only 8 is conceding too much. There's real dishonor in quitting a game you can still win.
-- The idea that saving 1-2 IPs for an 8-man bullpen is a meaningful gain is just ludicrous.

That ship sailed early in the morning of July 25, 2018, when Dave Roberts passed on pitcher Rich Hill in favor of utility man Kike Hernandez to pitch in the 16th inning of this tie game, effectively conceding the game.
   21. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 11, 2022 at 11:17 AM (#6076248)
20 - I would argue that Bobby Valentine in 2012 was worse. The Orioles brought in Chris Davis to pitch the bottom of the 16th (?), he gave up a two out double but the runner was out at the plate. Knowing the Sox would have a free shot on a position player pitching Bobby V. decided to have Darnell McDonald pitch the top of the 17th. McDonald gave up a 3 run homer then the Sox did not score in the bottom of the inning.

Having said all that at least doing it in the 16th inning is semi-reasonable. You've probably blown through a lot of the bullpen at that point. Doing it in the 8th inning is nonsense. You've got someone out there who can throw.
   22. BDC Posted: May 11, 2022 at 11:17 AM (#6076249)
People, I'm sure, have pointed out the irony of moving to universal DH because nobody wants to see futile performances from fish-out-of-water pitchers … while increasingly using fish-out-of-water players to pitch.

I keep wondering, for instance, why Charlie Culberson is still on a major-league roster, but then I remember one minor factor: he pitches every year. And pretty well! He gave up a run in his first appearance in 2018, but has five straight scoreless outings since. So I guess he is a bit of an amphibian.
   23. Bored Posted: May 11, 2022 at 11:22 AM (#6076252)
How rare is it these days for a team to only strike out 2 times in 28 PA?

First time that's happened in a nine inning game since 2018 which also involved the Angels although they were the home team and won so they only had eight innings at bat.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/ANA/ANA201806030.shtml

Last time a team had nine innings at bat with two strikeouts or less and 28 or fewer plate appearances was in 2016 by the Marlins.

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/MIA/MIA201605300.shtml

Only struck out one time in 28 PA, no walks, three hits which two of them were immediately followed by a double play.
   24. JJ1986 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 11:24 AM (#6076253)
Who knows what kind of incentives guys have in their contracts?


I don't disagree with your point (and better numbers may help guys in their contracts going forward), but I think incentives can only be playing-time based.
   25. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 11:29 AM (#6076254)
We just had *2* 9th-inning comebacks from down 6 runs in the last week, so it's hard for me to believe that 8 runs is too impossible to try. If they were already down 12-0 going into the 8th, I guess I can see it more. But down only 8 is conceding too much. There's real dishonor in quitting a game you can still win.


Per B-R, of the 100 most improbable wins in MLB history (based on win expectancy), only 26 were deficits of 8 runs or more. And in several of those games, the deficits had shrunk to less than 8 before the 9th.

I'm not advocating for the Rays' strategy here or anything. But I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that the game was likely over for them.

Link here
https://www.baseball-reference.com/friv/comeback-wins.shtml
   26. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 11, 2022 at 11:34 AM (#6076255)
Interesting ... most crazy out-of-position things in football are legitimate (if surprise) plays. "Refrigerator" Perry's TD catch in 1985 was in the second quarter with the Bears trailing 3-0.


It wasn't a catch, it was a run up the middle. And the score wasn't 0-3, it was 37-3. Or are you referring to a different game and not the SB?

edit: mea culpa. It wasn't the Super Bowl. It happened in a regular season Bears-Packers game.
   27. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:01 PM (#6076256)
I share the view of those here who find it pretty lame that the Rays would put in a position player in the 8th inning of an 8-0 game.

Teams' bullpens are so big now that it seems ludicrous a manager would be afraid to let the last guy in his bullpen throw an inning.

Also, this is sort of weird: The night before, Tampa was getting beat up just as badly to the Angels - it was 11-3 LA entering the bottom of the 8th inning. Tampa puts in Matt Wisler, who throws 22 pitches, gives up two hits, but allows no runs.

The next night, the team is down by 8 again in the bottom of the 8th - and this time, they put in a position player.

If you're going to have a 7 or 8-man bullpen, you should at least have one guy who can soak up innings in blowout wins and losses. This doesn't help baseball's image problem. In fact, if something quite like this was happening in the NBA or NFL, I guarantee the league would crack down on it very quickly.

In fact, a few weeks ago, the NBA Commissioner was asked if he is concerned about the increasing trend of "load management", where teams are giving their best and/or older players scheduled games off throughout the season - sometimes all at the same time.

Silver basically was like, this is a problem, and we are going to address the causes of it, including potential shortening the season to ~70 games.

There is 0% chance Manfred is going to be proactive on this.
   28. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:01 PM (#6076257)


Barring injury, MLB should either require teams to use actual pitchers or allow the teams to make a mutual decision to end the game. If one team has, in effect, admitted they're not going to win the game, or even particularly try, what is the point?


Sell more beer?
   29. Hank Gillette Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:12 PM (#6076258)
The Angel franchise only one year older than the Mets, yet they have 12 no-hitters in their history compared to only two for the Mets. Nolan Ryan alone had four for the Angels.

Other than Tom Seaver, the top ten pitchers by WAR for the two franchises is closer than I expected. I guess it just illustrates the randomness of no-hitters, excepting Ryan.
   30. AstrosOldTimer Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:27 PM (#6076261)
IMO the biggest problem with conceding the game down 8-0 is that it's still possible to win the game


In the 100+ year history of major league baseball, how many times has a team overcome an 8-run deficit in the 9th? (pretty sure the answer is zero... I could be wrong).

But here we are upset that they didn't attempt that impossible comeback against a pitcher that had a no-hitter going.
   31. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:31 PM (#6076262)
Sell more beer?


I haven't been to a live game in years, but don't they still cut off beer sales after the 7th inning?
   32. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:35 PM (#6076263)

Other than Tom Seaver, the top ten pitchers by WAR for the two franchises is closer than I expected. I guess it just illustrates the randomness of no-hitters, excepting Ryan.


The Mets have won 7 Cy Young Awards (Seaver x3, deGrom x2, Dickey, Gooden) to the Angels' 2 (Colon, Chance). And two of those CYA winners for the Mets threw no-hitters elsewhere (Seaver for the Reds, Gooden for the Yankees). As you said, just goes to show the randomness of it all.
   33. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:44 PM (#6076266)
But here we are upset that they didn't attempt that impossible comeback against a pitcher that had a no-hitter going.

Is that not the whole ethos of sport that the players are always trying to win the game? Especially so in baseball where the leading team can't just run the clock out. Or, as a wise philosopher once said, "It ain't over 'til it's over."

For as much as the quants praise tanking teams for "recognizing where they are in the 'success cycle'" and trading everything of value for (lottery ticket) prospects, what would the reaction be if a player tried that. "You know, we're really building for two years down the road, so I'm not going to play hard or risk an injury for the next few years because these games don't mean anything to us." We expect (demand?) players always give their best effort, and it does the game a disservice when management -- either strategically or tactically -- doesn't.... especially when -- as [27] notes, in an era of super-sized bullpens with hyperspecialized roles, no one's bothered to preserve the role of "long reliever."
   34. Cris E Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:48 PM (#6076267)
The Angel franchise only one year older than the Mets, yet they have 12 no-hitters in their history compared to only two for the Mets. Nolan Ryan alone had four for the Angels.

It's too bad someone like Ryan never got a chance to play for the Mets. ;-)
   35. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:50 PM (#6076269)
I don't disagree with your point (and better numbers may help guys in their contracts going forward), but I think incentives can only be playing-time based.


True, but there are awards incentives. Maybe that extra .1 of bWAR or 2 RBI gets Rendon an MVP vote somewhere on the ballot he wouldn't otherwise, or pushes him to a silver slugger.

I wonder if B-R could find the most PAs a hitter has had against a position player in one season. It's probably no more than 1 or 2, but it would be interesting to see if there's ever been a guy who has actually padded his stats.

Dave Winfield finished his cycle with a triple off a position player.
   36. Cris E Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:51 PM (#6076270)
I think the unwritten rules need to allow for teams to do whatever they want once a position player takes the mound. If you don't care enough to put a pitcher out there then you shouldn't mind if we try to score 30 tonight. It's just an exhibition now, right?
   37. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:55 PM (#6076271)
Is that not the whole ethos of sport that the players are always trying to win the game?


Better players get removed from blowout losses all the time though. I counted 7 such games for Trout in 2016.

I think there's a difference between pulling a pitcher for a position player, though
   38. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 11, 2022 at 12:56 PM (#6076272)
Ex-Met Noah Syndergaard thought to be trolling his former team with “This is what a ‘real’ no-hitter looks like” tweet.
   39. Perry Posted: May 11, 2022 at 01:00 PM (#6076273)
Is there something like this in soccer?


No because after points (3 for a win, 1 for a draw) the first tiebreaker in determining league standings is goal differential, so the losing team always has an incentive to keep the score as close as possible. One goal not allowed might be the difference between relegation and staying up, or between making it into a tournament or not. And the winning team has an incentive to keep scoring, for the same reason.
   40. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: May 11, 2022 at 01:01 PM (#6076274)
Ex-Met Noah Syndergaard thought to be trolling his former team with “This is what a ‘real’ no-hitter looks like” tweet.

Noah is correct. There's no shutout awarded in a multi-pitcher shutout. No hitters should be treated the same. It may be a no-hit game, but it's not a "no-hitter".
   41. The Yankee Clapper Posted: May 11, 2022 at 01:06 PM (#6076276)
I was fortunate enough to be at the game . . .
That’s no excuse for not having today’s OmniChatter up - 3 12:30 PM games today!
   42. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 11, 2022 at 01:25 PM (#6076277)
I think the unwritten rules need to allow for teams to do whatever they want once a position player takes the mound.


According to Tony LaRussa, the unwritten rules require you to stop trying as soon as the other team puts a position player on the mound.
   43. Athletic Supporter is USDA certified lean Posted: May 11, 2022 at 01:32 PM (#6076278)
What's confusing to me is that I would think there's someone on the team who could use the experience. Sure, injuries happen, but like this is what happens in every other sport, in garbage time young players come in to get experience. It seems to me that the value of 1 inning of experience for a young player or someone with minimal major league experience would outweigh the minimal additional chance of injury, not to mention the value of having more data to evaluate them. Of course, if you had like an 18 inning game the day before and the pen is wiped, that's different, but like with all these pitchers on the roster there must be some pitcher for whom the inning is a good thing.

I guess maybe it just comes down to the fact that throwing a baseball is the most unnatural act in sports and should be minimized whenever possible.
   44. RickG Posted: May 11, 2022 at 02:04 PM (#6076285)
Someone on Twitter, in the final innings, pointed out that Detmers was from Springfield, IL (well, Nokomis), and probably watched a whole lot of Mark Buehrle growing up. Great connection (though he might have needed the satlite package, that's Cardinal country).
   45. Steve Sparks Flying Everywhere Posted: May 11, 2022 at 02:27 PM (#6076291)
Isn’t having a position player pitch the 8th inning, down 8-0, essentially tanking the game? I get having a position player pitch if you’ve run out of arms in the bullpen for whatever reason. But other than that, having a position player pitch is a forfeit by other means.

Things like this also don’t sit well when considering the increase of betting in baseball. Seems like this could lead to a points shaving type situation.
   46. Hombre Brotani Posted: May 11, 2022 at 02:39 PM (#6076294)
How cool was it to be there Hombre? One thing I've never seen in person I'd love to see.
it was incredibly cool. The couple sitting in front of us we’re looking to leave after the eighth, and our entire section laughing cajoled them into staying (and they think this afterwards). It was Shohei Ohtani bobblehead night AND MVP Award presentation, plus they jumped on Kluber very early, so the whole night was more of a celebration than a game. The whole game was just a series of things for the home crowd to be happy about, and the Angels just kept giving us more to cheer about all night long. Trout’s second homer and Rendon’s lefty homer leading into the completion of the no-hitter was just an experience I’ve never had, and it was about as joyful as I’ve ever been at a ballpark.
   47. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 03:12 PM (#6076298)
Isn’t having a position player pitch the 8th inning, down 8-0, essentially tanking the game? I get having a position player pitch if you’ve run out of arms in the bullpen for whatever reason. But other than that, having a position player pitch is a forfeit by other means.


Given that the chances of winning a game in which you're down 8-0 heading into the 9th is basically 0%, not really. Like, there are issues I have with it, but none of them relate to "Well, now they really *aren't* coming back"

Things like this also don’t sit well when considering the increase of betting in baseball. Seems like this could lead to a points shaving type situation.


I'm not sure how. For an overall game, it's mostly going to make a blowout a bigger blowout. Point shaving is almost always about keeping a game closer. Is it possible, maybe that a game's O/U hasn't been hit and this could push it to the over? Maybe. I guess last night's game is probably the closest example to that we'll see.

It's more likely that it could impact say, betting on a particular player's line. Like, if Rendon's O/U on HRs in a game is 0.5, and you took the over, I can imagine being very happy seeing a position player on the mound in the 8th.
   48. Jose is Absurdly Correct but not Helpful Posted: May 11, 2022 at 04:03 PM (#6076306)
The Reds had a 14-5 lead over the Brewers heading to the top of the 9th today. It's now 14-11 with a runner on second.
   49. Misirlou cut his hair and moved to Rome Posted: May 11, 2022 at 04:21 PM (#6076307)
Isn’t having a position player pitch the 8th inning, down 8-0, essentially tanking the game? I get having a position player pitch if you’ve run out of arms in the bullpen for whatever reason. But other than that, having a position player pitch is a forfeit by other means.


Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. Going all out in a futile attempt to win when down by 8 in the final inning is foolish. The Rays have used 12 relievers in the previous 3 games. I have no problem with this whatsoever.
   50. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 04:22 PM (#6076308)
The Reds had a 14-5 lead over the Brewers heading to the top of the 9th today. It's now 14-11 with a runner on second.


Top scoring and home run hitting offense in the NL, facing a pitcher who came into the game having a 6.59 ERA with 5 HR allowed in 13.2 IP, in what has, historically, been a hitter's park.

If you were trying to engineer a scenario in which a 9-run 9th inning lead would be unsafe, this is probably what you'd come up with
   51. Howie Menckel Posted: May 11, 2022 at 04:23 PM (#6076309)
I remember the 2002 season had a number of moments that just made you shake your head and smile.

just don't tell us that you made a brief comment about that to a couple of Gen Y fans sitting next to you who were very excited - our resident BBTF scold will award you demerits for that.
   52. Walt Davis Posted: May 11, 2022 at 04:29 PM (#6076311)
It is hard to think of other sports where you'd see the equivalent of a position player pitching ... but there aren't many sports where there's the equivalent of the difference between a pitcher and the other players. Hockey goalie is close but goalie is probably closer to catcher and you only see teams sticking non-Cs behind the plate in emergencies. In cricket, the structure (one team bats half the day; then the other team bats) means this never happens (and lots of guys bowl in cricket).

If it counts (it doesn't) I played the final series at QB in a touch football blowout in college.

Pretty much every sport ruled by a clock has some sort of time-wasting procedure (kneeling in football, holding the ball in the corner in soccer, etc.) to preserve the win by running out the clock and often the other team is making only a minimal effort to get the ball away if the deficit is large. I'd imagine there must be a few examples where a non-QB was put in to take those kneel-down snaps. There's always some form of "we're not trying that hard anymore" play.

A position player pitching in a blowout is probably less a violation than having a guy play all 8 positions in one game ... and those guys then get to pitch an inning. It's not conceding the game but it is just a stunt and it's from the 1st inning.

#29: Looked it up the other day and I think the Yanks have just 12 no-hitters so 12 for the Angels is impressive. Helps to employ Nolan Ryan.
   53. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 11, 2022 at 04:48 PM (#6076316)
It is hard to think of other sports where you'd see the equivalent of a position player pitching


I feel like the injury component is why.

Jose Canseco's aside, position players can just lob balls to the plate, and eventually get three outs.

Putting say, a non-goalie at goalie, or a non-QB at QB and asking them to actually do that job seems like it would just be asking for someone to get hurt.

Basketball doesn't really differentiate itself that way, so there's not much to see, unless you like, let Shaq run point.
   54. The Duke Posted: May 11, 2022 at 06:15 PM (#6076340)
the NHL has the concept of an emergency goalie. This is some beer league guy who shows up at every home game and is there to play for either team if both their goalies get hurt. I think it happened last year and is was great fun. I think the guy managed to win the game. I watched the replays and he gave up an early goal or two and then settled in and won the game. Pretty amazing.
   55. BDC Posted: May 11, 2022 at 07:03 PM (#6076345)
Understudies in opera are a bit like that. There are stories that in the glory days of the Metropolitan, a major role would have three “covers,” understudies in various degrees of preparedness: one backstage in full costume, a second in the house somewhere, a third a short cab ride away.

They generally just have one these days, maybe not in costume. And in any case, like the goalies, they are experienced at the specific job. It is not like they run a cellist out there to sing Isolde.
   56. Brian C Posted: May 12, 2022 at 12:02 AM (#6076403)
But I don't think there's anything wrong with saying that the game was likely over for them.

Well, I mean, only an idiot would say that it wasn't likely that the Rays would lose regardless.

But it was possible.
But here we are upset that they didn't attempt that impossible comeback against a pitcher that had a no-hitter going.

That Detmers had a no-hitter going is basically immaterial, since if he would have allowed a hit - certainly not an unlikely event - he almost certainly would have come out of the game. And if he didn't for whatever reason, then the Rays would have been facing a tired pitcher who was starting his fourth time through the lineup.

Per this site, there were about 2,400 times between 1957-2015 that teams scored 8 or more runs in an inning. That breaks down to about 40 per season. Basically, it happens in MLB roughly once every 4 days. Not exactly crazy rare.

True, it is obviously much more uncommon in the 9th inning. Teams typically have their best relievers pitching in the 9th with a small lead, but often their worst relievers when there's a very large lead, so you gotta figure that evens out somewhat. But it's also true that losing teams will often pull their best hitters in a blowout game, which also lessens the odds of a huge 9th-inning comeback.

Still, it seems like it's just largely coincidence that it doesn't happen much in the 9th; it's common enough of an event that it should happen in the 9th from time to time, even if there are some reasons to expect it to be more rare than other innings. I guess it becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy; teams think it's impossible, so they take steps to lessen the odds.

At the very least, it shows the lie in the "never stop fighting" cliches.
   57. Ron J Posted: May 12, 2022 at 12:10 AM (#6076405)
   58. Ithaca2323 Posted: May 12, 2022 at 08:00 AM (#6076421)
Per this site, there were about 2,400 times between 1957-2015 that teams scored 8 or more runs in an inning. That breaks down to about 40 per season. Basically, it happens in MLB roughly once every 4 days. Not exactly crazy rare.

Still, it seems like it's just largely coincidence that it doesn't happen much in the 9th; it's common enough of an event that it should happen in the 9th from time to time, even if there are some reasons to expect it to be more rare than other innings. I guess it becomes a sort of self-fulfilling prophecy; teams think it's impossible, so they take steps to lessen the odds.


It happened in the 9th yesterday! But it was 3-3 at the time. It's not just that it has to happen in the 9th, it has to happen when a team is down by 8.

I would be willing to wager that if you're down 8 in the 9th, most times, hitters just want to go home. If it's the third inning and you're down 1-0, and then you start hitting, and it's 3-1, and then 5-1, you're not going to start giving away at bats because you've decided you've done enough scoring in that inning.

I feel like you see a lot fewer called strikes in the 9th inning of blowouts, just because players are less inclined to want to battle in an at bat. But given that there was another game yesterday that a team was down 9 in the 9th and battled for 6, maybe I'm wrong
   59. Rally Posted: May 12, 2022 at 02:22 PM (#6076448)

In the 100+ year history of major league baseball, how many times has a team overcome an 8-run deficit in the 9th? (pretty sure the answer is zero... I could be wrong).


Not 8-0, but Angels nearly blew a 6-0 lead last week. They won 6-5 and left the bases loaded. Phillies lost a 6 run lead in the 9th.

My guess is somebody has done it. In 1986 Angels were down 12-5 in the 9th, won it 13-12 with a grand slam by Dick Schofield.
   60. Rally Posted: May 12, 2022 at 02:29 PM (#6076450)
In 1901 Brewers blew a 9 run 9th inning lead. Opening day too!

https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/DET/DET190104250.shtml
   61. NaOH Posted: May 12, 2022 at 02:57 PM (#6076458)
1934, Indians score 9 in the top of the 9th to beat the Philadelphia Athletics, 12–11: Box Score

1990, Phillies score 9 in the top of the 9th to beat the Dodgers, 12–11: Box Score

Baseball-Reference has a page for Biggest Comeback Wins based on "the most dire Win Expectancy the eventual winning team faced."
   62. Tom Nawrocki Posted: May 12, 2022 at 02:59 PM (#6076460)
The Rockies scored nine runs in the bottom of the ninth in this game. But they were only losing by six when the inning started.

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