pcloudy.png
Thursday June 20th, 2019 5:38PM

Who's on second? Surprised Giants, Angels found out in 9th

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Thanks to the San Francisco Giants and Los Angeles Angels, baseball got a new twist on the old Abbott and Costello gag of "Who's on First?"

For confused players and fans at Scottsdale Stadium on Friday, it was "Who's on Second?"

A day after Major League Baseball announced it would begin extra innings by putting a runner on second base in spring training games, the Giants and Angels jump-started the experiment — they did it to start the ninth with the score tied at 5.

Giants manager Bruce Bochy knew what was going on. Only one problem: He hadn't told his team.

"For the rest of the spring, they're taking a look at it, so we did it today," Bochy said after the game. "Actually, I've got to tell them it starts today."

So as Giants reliever Trevor Gott entered in the top of the ninth and began warming up, third base umpire Alfonso Marquez signaled to the Angels bench to put a runner at second. The split-squad Angels sent Jhoan Urena to the bag.

Gott was confused.

"I turned around and asked the umpire, 'Is he supposed to be here?'" Gott said. "He said, 'Yeah,' but he looked like he was kind of joking. I was like, 'For real?' He said, 'Yeah, it starts today.'"

In fact, MLB teams can mutually agree in exhibition play to begin the ninth inning of a tie game with a runner on second base by informing the plate umpire — MLB has asked each team to try it once. If the game is still tied after the ninth, the teams can agree to either end the game or play a 10th inning.

The experiment is already part of the minor leagues. Designed to improve the pace of play, all levels of the minors began extra innings with a runner on second last year. It was done in the rookie level of the minors in 2017.

With many fans asking each other what was happening, Gott struck out the Angels' Bo Way to start the ninth. Gott retired Torii Hunter Jr. on a flyball, moving Urena to third, and struck out Ty Kelly to end the inning.

The Giants put Alen Hanson on second in the ninth. The Angels' Ryan Clark struck out Drew Ferguson, got Mike Gerber on a flyball, walked Levi Michael and set down Pablo Sandoval on a flyout to finish the inning.

That was all, the game ended in a 5-all tie.

"I would've tried to bunt (Hanson) over for Gerber there," Bochy said. "It just shows you how important execution is. We couldn't move him over there. That was the difference."

Gott said he was in those situations quite a few times last year at Triple-A Syracuse.

"It definitely makes it a lot tougher in terms of how you approach the batter at the plate, 100 percent," Gott said. "What I saw last year was bunt pretty much every time. That's what everyone did pretty much."

Some teams intentionally walked the first batter to set up a double play, Gott said.

"For here, it's OK," Bochy said. "I wouldn't want to see it during the season. It's a little different. I'm not sure everybody knew what was going on."

Gott certainly didn't. When did he find out?

"When it happened," Gott said. "When the umpire told me."

Giants pitcher Jeff Samardzija had another suggestion: eliminate extra innings completely and consider changing to a points system where teams are awarded three points for a win and each team receives one point for a tie.

"We're playing 162 games and over that many games, you should be able to tell who the best team is," Samardzija said. "That makes the ninth inning exciting all the time. Who wants to go out and play 15 innings?"

Well, Gott for one.

"I like extra innings," Gott said. "I think it measures the depth of the team to some extent."

Bochy has been part of some thrilling extra-inning games as well, including Game 4 of the 2012 World Series against the Detroit Tigers that went 10 innings and a marathon Game 2 of the 2014 NL Division Series against the Washington Nationals that lasted 18 innings.

"I think some of the greatest games have been extra inning games, epic games," Bochy said. "We've been part of them. That's an exciting part of baseball. I'm not into the tie deal. I'd want to play until we finish."

NOTES: Outfielder Austin Slater and ambidextrous pitcher Pat Venditte were optioned to Triple-A and infielder Zach Green and pitcher Derek Law reassigned. The Giants now have 41 players in camp plus one on the 60-day injured list (Johnny Cueto).

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Woods cards highest score ever at 17, makes cut at Players
Tiger Woods hit two balls in the water at the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass and carded a quadruple-bogey 7 in the second round at The Players Championship
9:19PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Shayok sends Iowa State past K-State in Big 12 semifinals
Marial Shayok hit back-to-back 3-pointers right in front of his own bench to give Iowa State the lead in the final minute, and the fifth-seeded Cyclones held on at the foul line to beat No. 15 Kansas State 63-59 on Friday night in the Big 12 semifinals
9:13PM ( 11 minutes ago )
McIlroy, Fleetwood share lead at Players Championship
Big start for Fleetwood, big finish for McIlroy for share of lead at Sawgrass
9:12PM ( 11 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Ex-Auburn assistant coach Chuck Person to plead guilty
Former Auburn assistant basketball coach Chuck Person is scheduled to plead guilty on Tuesday to a conspiracy charge in a scandal that involved bribes paid to entice young athletes to go to top schools
7:35PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Source: Qatar resists FIFA push to spread 2022 World Cup
The FIFA Council approved working with Qatar to explore expanding the 2022 World Cup to 48 teams by adding at least one more country in the Persian Gulf to host matches
7:27PM ( 1 hour ago )
No. 19 Wisconsin tops Nebraska 66-62 in Big 10 tourney
Reuvers scores 14 points as No. 19 Wisconsin tops Nebraska 66-62 in Big Ten tourney
6:50PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Sports
Phillies star Harper hit by 96 mph pitch in ankle, limps off
New Phillies star Bryce Harper has limped off the field after being hit by a pitch in the right ankle during a spring training game
3:11PM ( 6 hours ago )
Ichiro arrives in Tokyo, a sure sign baseball only days away
Ichirio Suzuki has arrived in Tokyo, a sure sign baseball is only days away from starting
7:19AM ( 14 hours ago )
Dodgers' Seager plays SS for first time since Tommy John
Corey Seager played shortstop in a game for the first time since April 29, three innings for the Los Angeles Dodgers in a minor league exhibition
12:35AM ( 20 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
Tim Tebow reassigned to minor league camp by Mets
Tim Tebow has been reassigned to minor league camp by the New York Mets after hitting .267 with one RBIs in eight spring training games
1:58PM ( 3 days ago )
Mariners' Seager out thru April, Braves' Foltynewicz ailing
Kyle Seager will be absent next week when the Seattle Mariners play the major league opener in Japan
1:18AM ( 3 days ago )
Reds' Lorenzen pitches an inning, moves to center field
Reliever Michael Lorenzen began the Cincinnati Reds' mound-to-outfield experiment, pitching one inning and then moving to center field in a game against the Cleveland Indians
8:17PM ( 4 days ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Woods cards highest score ever at 17, makes cut at Players
Tiger Woods hit two balls in the water at the par-3 17th at TPC Sawgrass and carded a quadruple-bogey 7 in the second round at The Players Championship
9:19PM ( 4 minutes ago )
Shayok sends Iowa State past K-State in Big 12 semifinals
Marial Shayok hit back-to-back 3-pointers right in front of his own bench to give Iowa State the lead in the final minute, and the fifth-seeded Cyclones held on at the foul line to beat No. 15 Kansas State 63-59 on Friday night in the Big 12 semifinals
9:13PM ( 11 minutes ago )
McIlroy, Fleetwood share lead at Players Championship
Big start for Fleetwood, big finish for McIlroy for share of lead at Sawgrass
9:12PM ( 11 minutes ago )
The Latest: New Zealand hospital says 7 victims released
Christchurch Hospital chief says seven of the 48 gunshot victims admitted after mosque shootings in have been discharged, while 12 are in critical condition
8:59PM ( 25 minutes ago )
Gillibrand highlights contaminated water in New Hampshire
Democratic presidential hopeful Kirsten Gillibrand is trying to connect with voters' important issues on the ground, or in some cases under, in New Hampshire
8:53PM ( 31 minutes ago )