There have been many memorable wins in baseball, and August 6th brought us another one. A minor league team, the Clearwater Threshers, won the second game of a double-header without making a single hit, or getting a walk.
Their opponent, the Tampa Tarpons, was a Class A – Advanced team associated with the New York Yankees. The Tarpons’ pitching was phenomenal, successfully shutting down every hitter the Threshers brought to the plate.
But pitchers get tired, and the ultimate purpose of minor league ball is to develop players for the majors. Those players are often willing to exhaust themselves in their attempts to get to “the show”, and team owners have noticed.
Players who work hard are beloved. Players who work so hard that they injure themselves are at worst a liability, at best lost opportunities. So the teams got together and adjusted some rules to keep their pitchers – one of their prime skill positions – rested. The idea was to make the games shorter, so that even a pitcher who was throwing a no-hitter would not be tempted to overexert themselves.
Mindful of this notion, a new rule was adopted: starting in the extra innings of a tie game, each team would start the inning with a runner on second base. (MLB.com)
Rather than require teams to get someone onto base and then get enough hits to send him home, the idea was that one good double could win a game decisively, resting the players while giving fans a sense of accomplishment.
Then came the Threshers.
Starting out on second base, Luke Williams advanced to third on an error by the Tampa shortstop. The Clearwater team saw their opportunity. A ground ball out to the field was easily grabbed and the hitter, Daniel Brito, was thrown out at first… but Williams had already scored. (ESPN.com)
The Tarpons’ pitcher, Deivi Garcia, was credited with a no-hitter, one of the great achievements in baseball and something to which all pitchers aspire. But Williams? He ran into baseball trivia history.
Question of the night: What’s your favorite time-saving tip?