Tonight I’m tempting fate and not watching the game from Amrys’s armchair. Instead, I’m sitting on the couch at home covered in blankets, wondering if I’ll be able to keep oatmeal down, feeling like death on a triscuit. But the game is on, and so far so good. David Ortiz is fielding well at first, and the Sox are up 4-0 in the seventh.
When the crowd at Frogstar called to find out why the armchair is empty tonight, Cyrus asked an interesting question regarding starting pitchers in the National League. Since I’m only semi-lucid at the moment, it took me a minute to figure out what he was asking and then it took me until well after I got off the phone to come up with the answer.
Why didn’t the Red Sox announce that Curt Schilling was the starting pitcher tonight? This way, if they got through nine batters in the top of the first, they could substitute Kevin Youkilis in as the pinch hitter and reduce the number of times the pitcher has to bat. Then, in the bottom of the first, they make a “pitching change” and give the ball to Pedro. Schilling never actually pitches, and you’ve hypothetically kept the option open for reducing the amount of times Pedro looks awkward at the plate.
Initially, I just said it was ridiculous — what’s the likelihood of getting through nine batters in the top of the first anyway? But there had to be a real reason. Consulting the official rules, we run into rule 3.05(a) which states that:
The pitcher named in the batting order handed the umpire in chief, as provided in Rules 4.01 (a) and 4.01 (b), shall pitch to the first batter or any substitute batter until such batter is put out or reaches first base, unless the pitcher sustains injury or illness which, in the judgment of the umpire in chief, incapacitates him from pitching.
Which basically means that if the Red Sox announce that Curt Schilling is the starting pitcher, Schilling has to pitch to at least one batter.