Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Thrill of the Walk-off

Baseball is an awesome sport. There is no clock on the game. It is played until all of the outs are completed or until one team wins. 

That means that sometimes teams will use less than their allotted 27 outs (9 innings) to win a game and sometimes games will go into extra innings to allow a winner to emerge. Outs are allocated evenly, three per team per inning. In the classic Mensa question: How many outs are there in an inning of baseball--most people answer three, but truly there are six outs in an inning of baseball because each team gets three outs per inning.

The line from last night's game, which I had the pleasure of attending, reads fairly simply: "Davis' pinch-hit, three-run homer gives Orioles the 6-4 walk-off win over the White Sox." To say it was electric and exciting is an understatement.

It was one of those nights where although the Orioles only used 25 of their allotted 27 outs to win the game, they were behind going into the bottom of the 9th inning by one run and needed to play some good baseball to win. And with the team setting the table, so to speak, the acknowledged home run hitter came to the plate and delivered a win for the hometown team.

Early Weaver, one of the greatest baseball managers of all time has two colorful quotes about the situation last evening which sum the game up pretty well. 

Unlike some sports, there is no such thing as sitting on a lead. The other team gets its outs and the ball has to be thrown over the plate to give them a chance to hit it. Friday night, the Orioles lost a game exactly the same way that they won last night--a three-run, walk-off home run in the bottom of the ninth! It hurts, but it is baseball. 

Being there in person as Chris Davis, the the power hitter for the team came to the plate to pinch hit after having the night off, with the game on the line, in the bottom of the 9th, and delivered a monster home run is why baseball is the greatest game. Game over, let's go home!

Let's go O's!

And they get to do it all over again tonight.

-- Bob Doan, Elkridge, MD




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