Thursday, August 22, 2013

In Case You Missed It: Intentional Walk Walk-off

Yes, you did read it correctly.  There was a walk-off run scored on an intentional walk just recently.  No, a team did not lose the game on purpose.  Here is what happened:  A minor league game between New Britain Rock Cats and New Hampshire Fisher Cats went to the last inning tied.  New Britain has the winning run on 3rd and another runner on 2nd base, so  the New Hampshire manager made a solid baseball decision.  Intentionally walk the hitter and create a force out at any base. The problem was the execution:

I know. Oops!  But, on a serious note, I have heard the argument one way to shorten the game is to have the batter automatically go to first when an intentional walk is called.  I am okay with this at the amateur level, but for the professionals, not so much.  The pros are trained and skilled in all aspects of the game or should be at least, so all possible plays should still be executed.
I have also seen where the pitch comes too close to the plate and the batter hits it for a base hit or a catcher fakes an intentional walk and pitcher throws a pitch for a called third strike. 
One of the beauties of the game of baseball is to have plays like this happen, even how rare they may be.  Fans could be talking about the play they witness at the ballpark the next day or kids trying it in the backyard or sandlots.

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