Taking one for the team and victory

When the Mets’ Justin Turner dug in as a Brad Ziegler pitch violated his personal space, the home town fans got to celebrate a 3-2 victory over the Oakland nine*. Since this happened in the media mecca that is New York, it was called unusual.

* We can call them that, since they are playing in the National League with no DH. right. What, they used relievers in the game? I don’t care. I like the sound of it.

Unusual? I happens about once a year. According to the play-by-play data from Retrosheet, 50 times since 1950 a game has ended with a bases loaded hit by pitch. Extra inning games account for 27 of those games. Game-ending balks and game-ending bases loaded triples are unusual. This, not so much.

Ziegler should not be upset, though. He joins a group of 49 pitchers who have ended a game by hitting the batter. Yep, somebody has done it twice.

Randy Moffitt, collect your prize!

Aug. 26, 1972: Moffitt came on to start the 10th inning of a 9-9 game. After two singles, he got a strikeout and then intentionally walked Ron Santo to load the bases*. Moffitt then hit Joe Pepitone, allowing Jose Cardenal to score the 10thand final run. CUBS WIN! CUBS WIN!

* There were men at first and third. This tactic baffles me.

May 20, 1978: Moffitt at least didn’t load the bases this time. Gary Lavelle came in at the top of the ninth inning of a 2-2 tie between the Dodgers and the Giants. After a double, an intentional walk, a sacrifice bunt, and another intentional walk, Lavelle handed Moffitt a bases loaded and one out situation. Bill Russell took one for the team and Billy North scored the winning run.

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