Thursday, August 23, 2007

Slaughter Rule, Anyone?

Odd Encounter of the Week: "BAL Bullpen: 4IP 20H 24ER 7BB 7K"

This box score line rolled across my television last night, as ESPN rocked me to sleep with its Sportscenter lullaby. For those not familiar with baseball, that line reads as followed: four innings pitched, twenty hits, twenty-four earned runs, seven walks, and seven strike-outs.

The line did nothing to help me sleep. It simply made me laugh out loud. In my 400-sq ft apartment, all alone, I shamelessly cackled for seconds on end. It reminded me of the time I laughed out loud while reading a book on punctuation. Despite how it may sound, I stand not embarrassed. It was just that funny. Same deal last night.

The Texas Rangers beat the Baltimore Orioles last night 30-3. And no, these teams do not play football. In fact, that Baltimore FOOTBALL TEAM had not given up 30 points since 2005. This may, in fact, exist as the grandest professional sports thrashing of my lifetime. For certain, the four innings pitched by the Baltimore bullpen have to exist as the worst collective effort of any group of athletes in recent sports memory (though I am open and eager for a discussion of this which will no doubt lead to more smiles and laughter).

The stats around this thing are horrifyingly hilarious. They are also well-documented (and will continue to be) by ESPN. However, I feel a couple comments particularly noteworthy:

-Going into the 4th inning, a third of the game already over, the Rangers trailed 3-0. Going into the 6th inning, the game more than half finished, they had a paltry 5-3 lead. They won 30-3 with a, uh, strong finish.

-They set the record for most runs ever scored in a double-header - BEFORE THE SECOND GAME HAD EVEN BEGUN.

-The Rangers had scored two runs total in their last two games.

-The Rangers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia entered the game batting .179. He finished batting .262.

-Two players hit two home runs in the game. Texas also hit two grand slams.

-Not one of the runs given up by the Baltimore bullpen, not a one, came as a result of an error. No blame, no excuses, no rationalizations. Every run, hard earned.

-And perhaps my favorite stat of all, Texas pitcher Wes Littleton EARNED A SAVE for his work to protect a 27-run lead. On a night of hilarity, nothing remained funnier than the diction and reality of this.

Oh, why not? One more time. We may never see anything this funny in professional sport again.

BAL Bullpen: 4IP 20H 24ER 7BB 7K


Wilson said...

I saw that that dude earned a save (the first of his career). That is just stupid. There is no way that should have been counted.

Ben said...

Yeah, I thought it had to be a 3 run lead or less to "earn" a save. Not sure if I made that up or not. Still, for the sake of high comedy, I'm glad they gave it to him.