Phillies fans are thrilled (maybe in disbelief) about the 8-run rally during yesterday’s 12-11 win over Atlanta.
OK, I know. Those things aren’t supposed to happen in the Majors. Well, Baltimore walked in three straight runs last season. And they happen more than you think, especially in the Minors.
It had to be four or five years ago and the Norwich Navigators were in Trenton. Norwich pitcher Erick Threets was coming into the game for relief. What he gave his manager, one of my old friends Dave Machemer, was absolutely nothing resembling relief.
Trenton sent like 13 batters to the plate in the inning and scored like seven runs. But the most amazing thing about the inning was what happened to the first nine hitters of the inning.
The Thunder actually batted around (their first nine hitters of the inning)… WITHOUT AN OFFICIAL AT-BAT
Think about that for a while. You might see something like this in Class A or Rookie ball, but not in Double-A. Mind you, Threets was a pretty high prospect of the S.F. Giants. He would hit 100 mph on the radar guns with some frequency. The problem was sometimes he didn’t have great aim.
So Threets and another reliever, who name I can’t think at the moments proceeded to allow the following to the first nine batters of the inning…
Three batters hit by pitch
One sacrifice bunt.
So there you have it. Nine batters and not one official at-bat.
It was like watching yesterday’s 7th Inning when Braves pitchers couldn’t find the plate to save their lives. And just like Bobby Cox did yesterday, my buddy, Mr. Machemer, wore a path in the grass between the visitors dugout and the pitching mound during that nightmarish frame.
They say you see something new every day in baseball. No doubt, this was it for it. And I may never (hopefully, ever) see something like that again.