While the real story of this game is the return of Brad “My arm didn’t fall off” Radke and his five innings of 3 hit ball despite a broken shoulder, I’ll just direct you to two other blogs if you’re interested in that. Although it is worth mentioning that Bradke’s ability to play through the pain all season is right up there with Curt Schilling’s bloody sock in the 2004 World Series.
The second story of tonight’s game? With the Tigers loss earlier in the day, the Twins are now tied for first in the AL Central. This is the first time they’ve been in first place for more than five hours since 2005 — maybe even 2004. But I don’t particularly want to cover that either. Especially since I tend to agree with the pundits who say that the Twins best chance to get to the World Series is to face the Yankees in a five game ALDS instead of a seven game ALCS. (And all of the pundits are in agreement that the Yanks are the AL team to beat right now, and that the Twins have the best chance of being the ones to beat them.)
No, what I want to figure out is if the score of this game is what it should be.
Here’s what happened… While Bradke was pitching his arm off (not literally, though it was in question for awhile), the Twins generated no offense until Joe “Mr. St. Paul” Mauer’s homer in the ninth to tie it up and send the game to extra innings. In the bottom of the tenth, the Twins manage to load the bases with one out and Jason “Not the fake president” Bartlett comes up to bat. Bartlett hits the ball to deep center field and it bounces over the fence for a ground rule double.
Under normal circumstances, each runner advances two bases on a ground rule double, meaning that both Morneau at third and Ford at second would score and the Twins would get two runs out of the deal. However, this is the bottom of the last inning. Once the winning run scores, the game is over, so in this case, only Morneau scores and Bartlett is only credited with a single.
Except, and here’s where it gets tricky, if Bartlett had hit a homerun instead of a GRD, all four runs would have been allowed to score. Since a GRD also has an automatic awarding of bases with the ball gone out of play, why aren’t the two runs allowed to score much in the same way? So I’ve consulted the rules…
4.11(c) If the home team scores the winning run in its half of the ninth inning (or its half of an extra inning after a tie), the game ends immediately when the winning run is scored. EXCEPTION: If the last batter in a game hits a home run out of the playing field, the batter-runner and all runners on base are permitted to score, in accordance with the base-running rules, and the game ends when the batter-runner touches home plate.
… and it turns out, the rules don’t actually help answer the question at hand, except to specifically state that the exception holds for homeruns only. I really think the rulebook should be amended here to add the exception for GRDs. Because at the end of the day, Bartlett hit a double, not a single, and the scorebook should reflect that.