Mains: A walk-off hazard?

From SABR member Rob Mains at Baseball Prospectus on July 20, 2018:

On July 10, the Yankees went ahead of the Orioles, 5-3, in the top of the seventh inning. Manny Machado tied the game in the bottom of the inning with a two-run, opposite-field homer. Neither team scored in the eighth. Zach Britton pitched a scoreless top of the ninth. In the bottom of the ninth, Dellin Betances hit Caleb Joseph, and with one out, Adam Jones doubled Joseph to third base. Following an intentional walk to Machado, Betances struck out Mark Trumbo. With two outs, Jonathan Schoop singled home Joseph with the winning run.

It was a big deal for Baltimore. A last-of-the-ninth, two-out, walk-off win! A comeback, no less! Against the Yankees! And, of course, this being the 2018 Orioles, it was the team’s 92nd game, and only its 26th victory. It represented nearly four percent of the team’s victories!


I’ve had happy moments in my life, when I’ve accomplished something that makes me pleased. You have, too. Have you ever found it necessary, in the immediate aftermath, to protect your skull, which is already covered by a helmet? I never felt compelled to do that when, say, I got into the college of my choice, or got a good performance review at work, or got every device connected to the new router.

But in baseball, a tradition has emerged: When a player gets a walk-off hit, all of his teammates pound on his body. That’s an odd way to celebrate.

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Originally published: July 20, 2018. Last Updated: July 20, 2018.