Sunday, September 9, 2007

A Win-Save Situation

Some of you may remember a few weeks ago when A-Rod could have hit his 500th home run before his 490th home run because of some bizarre rule from the depths of baseball's rule book. Luckily he didn't do it, saving us from seeing someone auction off a meaningless home run ball claiming it was his 500th. I have a book containing hundreds of these little fine-print-plays. I remember something about it being illegal to catch a ball with one's hat and it somehow being legal to run the bases with a bat in one's hand, so long as it doesn't disrupt the play. It excites me to even think of the possibility of David Ortiz "running" the bases and trying to leg out a double and pull one of his patented "beached whale" slides into second base holding a bat, he'd have to be more graceful...nowhere to go but up I suppose. However, that's neither here nor there.
What I wanted to write about was a curious situation that I have thought about every once in a while. Let's say a baseball game is going as such: Blue Jays at Yankees, Doc Halladay has pitched 6 innings and his Blue Jays are up 4-1. However, he trips on the dugout steps coming out for the 7th and cant pitch the inning. His shrewd manager, sensing the game might remain close, decides to pull a sort of a double switch and puts Halladay into left field to start the seventh and bring in a reliever to pitch. Anonymous Blue Jay's Reliever pitches the seventh and eighth inning but gives up two runs in the process, making the score 4-3. By the time the ninth rolls around, Halladay is over whatever ailment he got tripping on the stairs. Shrewd Blue Jays Manager decides to bring Halladay in from left field and have him pitch the bottom of the ninth inning, feeling more confident with him pitching than Anonymous Bullpen Reliever 2. Let's say Halladay sets down the Yankees in order, leaving him with 7 non-contiguous innings pitched, and perhaps a win and a save. In the words of should-be-iconic Mike LaFontaine, Wha Happans??