Why is baseball after midnight called “weird baseball?” Because after midnight things like these happen:
- A 19th inning
- Albert Pujols playing third
- Albert Pujols playing third, but making an assist from the second base position
- Dustin Pedroia stealing two bases on one play
- The Red Sox playing for a tie in extra innings for some weird reason
- Both team using eight relievers
- Both teams forced to use a starting pitcher in relief
- Both team somehow avoiding having a position player pitch
- Victor Rojas and Mark Gubicza donning rally wigs
Yeah, it was weird.
Run Expectancy Rundown
When a game goes 19 innings, not a lot of guys are going to have good days, but Mike Trout actually did. Granted, he was helped out by Dustin Pedroia not trying to turn a double play that he might’ve made, but Trout created this whole mess to begin with via his game-tying homer. On the other hand, a lot of guys had bad days. Josh Hamilton was just miserable and C.J. Cron blew several big opportunities because he insisted on swinging at the first pitch.
Christian Vazquez took an 0-for-7, but he made up for it with some stellar defensive work behind the plate. If he wasn’t so good at blocking pitches, this game would’ve been over in time for the fireworks to still go off. Despite the length of the game, Pedroia was the only Red Sox player to have more than one hit. What really amazes me though is nobody on Boston tried dropping a bunt at Albert Pujols. With how terrible guys like Holt and Bradley were at the dish, you’d think they’d try him at least once. I think John Farrell might’ve fallen asleep in the eleventh inning, to be honest.
Starting Pitcher Scores
Lost in the weirdness was that Garrett Richards throwing a no-hitter through six innings before his infield decided they didn’t feel like catching the ball anymore. Clay Buchholz was also pretty great after the Angel bats apparently decided to take it easy on him after a very rough first inning.
The Angels bullpen was so good that they earned more than one full win worth of WPA. Of course, they pitched more than an entire full game, so it kind of makes sense. The relievers were actually quite fantastic as a whole, pitching 13.2 innings, allowing just three hits, two walks, one run and striking out 13. The one run they allowed wasn’t even really there fault as it came about because of Erick Aybar failing to hold his glove on Pedroia and Rasmus forgetting to cover third after Pedroia stole second against the shift. The Boston bullpen was strong as well, but they allowed more than a few scares along the way.
Look at that. I’m not recapping that. That’s bonkers.
The real cherry on top of the game was Pujols’ game-winner having to be reviewed via replay. Just because of the insanity of it all, I kind of wanted them to rule it a double. People literally would’ve had their heads explode.