Last night’s loss to the Miami Marlins was about as bad as it gets. The two sides finished the first nine innings tied 3-3, with the Marlins scoring their first run on an error by Sean Rodriguez, with their second and third runs coming after Matt Joyce dropped an easy flyball and the Rays should have been out of the inning.

And if that wasn’t bad enough, the two teams played 15 innings, with Joe Maddon forced to use six of his relievers, and three of them for more than an inning. And now, after a five hour game that didn’t end until after midnight, the Rays have to turn around and play an afternoon game.

Yep, it was bad. But somehow, it could have been worse.

The Rays tied the game in the 7th on a 2-out triple by Rodriguez. But notice what happens when the ball reaches the bullpen in the right field corner. That’s Burke Badenhop moving a cup off the mound…

It is kind of a funny scene. But, more importantly, if the ball hits the cup, the umpire very well may have called interference and sent Carlos Pena back to third base*. And the Rays may have never tied the game. Can you imagine the uproar if the Rays lost because of a stray paper cup?

Then again, the players would have gotten to bed earlier (maybe).

* A common misconception is that interference calls are also a ground-rule double. Not true. Ground-rule doubles are balls that bounce over the wall and out of play. On interference plays (which are most commonly balls near a wall that a fan interferes with and takes out of play, hence the confusion) the umpire has the discretion to award as many bases as he feels they would have reached had the ball not been interfered with. So in this case, it is possible the umpire would have still allowed Pena to score. But the reality is, that almost never happens. Most umpires just give two bases to all runners.

 
 

1 Comment

  1. Dave L says:

    Well on the bright side if our bullpen is gassed, imagine how spent the Marlins pen is?

    After cleaning up Zambranos mess the day before they pitched 7 in that one.

    Wade is still fresh and Rodney too.

    Whats killing me is every ball hit to the left side of the infield is an adventure. I’d say only one out of every 5 balls are actually delivered on target to the first baseman. The rest either make Pena stretch or dig for.

    I have never seen more inaccurate deliveries on a nightly basis in major league ball in my life. I am not exagerrating that.

    Pena for all his lacking of hitting needs to be a golden glover to keep us in the games. They need to make a new sabermetric stat. Defensive-plays-that-save-a-teammate-from-error

    DPTSATFE

    Add to it wild pitches that nimble catchers get to that save the pitcher.

    Molina would be dead last in that, but damn he did some tricky framing last night.

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