Monday, July 16, 2012
What's the worst way to lose a game?
By David Schoenfield
Not sure if you saw how the Padres beat the Dodgers on Saturday night. The Dodgers led the Padres 6-5 in the top of the ninth with runners on second and third and two outs, Kenley Jansen looking to close it out. But as he scratched at the pitching rubber and turned his back, Everth Cabrera took off for home plate. Jansen then threw the ball away and Will Venable came all the way around to score the go-ahead run.
Definitely a tough way to lose, although the Dodgers at least had one more at-bat. Was it the worst way to lose a game? (I mean, not counting heartbreaking playoff defeats.) Eric Karabell and Mark Simon had fun talking about this on Monday's Baseball Today podcast . What do you think? (Also: Here's a great piece from Chris Jaffe at The Hardball Times that recounts other memorable/crazy defeats.)
1. Dropped infield pop-up
Example: June 12, 2009. Mets lead the Yankees 8-7, two outs, bottom of the ninth, Derek Jeter on second base, Mark Teixeira on first base (after he had been intentionally walked), Alex Rodriguez at the plate. A-Rod pops up to second baseman Luis Castillo and slams his bat ... except Castillo drops the ball ... and Teixeira comes all the around from first base to score the winning run.
2. Game-ending triple play
Example: Aug. 23, 2009. The Mets trail the Phillies 9-6 entering the bottom of the ninth but two errors and a base hit make it 9-7 to put runners at first and second with no outs. With the runners on the move, Jeff Francoeur hits a line shot up the middle -- which Phillies second baseman Eric Bruntlett catches, steps on second and tags Daniel Murphy for an unassisted triple play.
3. Bases-loaded walk following three other walks
Example: April 13, 2012. The Padres and Dodgers are tied 8-8 in the bottom of the ninth after the Padres had scored twice in the top of the inning to tie it. Andrew Cashner gets two outs but then walks Mark Ellis, Mark Kemp and James Loney. Joe Thatcher is brought on to face Andre Ethier ... who walks on four pitches.
4. The walk-off grand slam ... while ahead by three runs
Example: Sept. 27, 2011. The Dodgers score five runs in the top of the 10th inning in Arizona to take a 6-1 lead. Blake Hawksworth gets the first two outs. The Diamondbacks chip away, an error keeps the inning going and it's 6-3 with the bases loaded and two outs. Ryan Roberts facing Javy Guerra. Roberts clears the bases.