Clearing the bases: Beanings and beatings

April, 12, 2012
4/12/12
8:00
AM ET
First: Take your base! You figure when kids dream about winning the game, they don’t dream about doing it by getting beaned, right? Nobody does that, right? Well, the A’s won on Wednesday in the bottom of the 12th on a bases-loaded hit by pitch when the Royals’ Jonathan Broxton plunked Jonny Gomes.

[+] EnlargeJonny Gomes
Ezra Shaw/Getty ImagesA jubilant post-plunking Jonny Gomes pays it forward into the stands to some lucky fan.
Unusual? Of course. While Broxton’s pretty wild on his career, he’s not even in MLB’s top 1000 pitchers ever when it comes to plunking people. Yet according to ESPN Stats & Info, Broxton became the first pitcher to lose a game by hitting consecutive batters since Stu Miller achieved the feat in 1966 for the Orioles. I’m sure that’s one he’ll tell the grandkids.

Gomes may not be Carlos Quentin or Ron Hunt or the immortal Hughie Jennings when it comes to taking one for the team, but he does rate 58th all-time among batters with 1,200 or more career plate appearances by getting hit by a pitch 2.2 percent of the time. So maybe, if anyone dreamed the impossible dream of being a winner by taking one for the team, it might just be the transiently heroic Jonny Gomes.

Second: C’mon blue! Need a reason to beat the replay drum? Wednesday night’s Phillies-Marlins game gave us something avoidable yet dumb: Juan Pierre was out trying to steal second in the bottom of the third, but the fallible human charged with making the call blew it, giving the Phillies a shot to do some damage. They exploited that in full when Placido Polanco hit a ball that deflected off Josh Johnson to head into the hole at short, a hole emptied out because Reyes was moving to where the ball should have gone while Hanley Ramirez was covering third -- because Pierre had been ruled safe. Pierre scored on that infield single, and that combination of events -- umpire error plus a changed set of defensive responsibilities -- opened the floodgates.

Third: Box score confusion. Nothing beats a baseball bloodbath, and the 17-8 slugfest between the Giants and Rockies in Denver was a nice bit of mile-high mayhem as far as that goes. But the ugliest part came in a blown rundown in the bottom of the fifth, when Ramon Hernandez belted a single that plated Todd Helton, advanced Michael Cuddyer, who got hung up between home and third in a rundown. But Brett Pill committed two errors on the same play -- first with a wild throw home and then again in a flubbed rundown. Who do you think had a worse night of it in the aftermath: Pill, Giants manager Bruce Bochy or the official scorer?

Home: Tweet(s) of the Day. Because smart teams have a play book and they use it ... and smart people like Sam Miller noticed:
Christina Kahrl covers baseball for ESPN.com. You can follow her on Twitter.

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