It all started so innocently. Game one of the ALDS, too, so there was still plenty of baseball to play. The pitcher wasn’t paying attention, the runner at first thought nobody was looking, and so he took off for second base. Bartolo Colon arose from his slumber and tossed the ball to Jed Lowrie for the out, and the world wondered for a brief second why Torii Hunter would do such a thing.
K, PB, 1-3
So in the bottom ninth of that same first game of the ALDS, maybe we were a little more primed for weird. Brandon Moss swings and misses badly at a Joaquin Benoit curve in the dirt, sure, and then the ball hits umpire Mark Wegner’s shin guard, yeah, and wait that’s the ball in play and yeah okay, now that we’re talking strange, it makes sense: Benoit gets the assist. And very few people in the world noticed that two things had just happened that had probably never happened before in the same game, let alone in same season.
FC 4-2, E5, RS
This might have shown up in an error book before. You might read it as “double play ball fielded by the second baseman, and the third baseman muffed the throw from catcher.” You could read it that way. Which seems to be a failure for scorekeeping. This should read something like “F-C 4-2, OBSTRWTF, RS OMG.” Maybe. In any case, it doesn’t quite capture the weirdness that was watching Will Middlebrooks doing The Worm in slow motion as we all watched and tried to decide if he meant to take Allen Craig down, or if it was just Allen Craig showing off his wheels, all set against the despair in Dustin Pedroia’s face.
Well now there we have a downright normal scorecard offering. It’s all context here. Making the third out with the go-ahead run at the plate is a no-no, written or not. And without knowing that it was rookie Kolten Wong at first, and “can we get him a world series win” Carlos Beltran at the plate, you might not get how bizarre this was. And then you add in how the game ended the night before, and really these four characters don’t do it any justice.
So what will happen tonight? Maybe we could get another phantom grand slam? Or how about a steals-second-no-steals-first moment? A walk-off balk where the pitcher lets the ball drop on the mound?
We can only keep our pencils sharp and our minds open.