One of the most-bizarre sequences in MLB postseason history just happened in Game 3 of the Boston Red Sox vs. Tampa Bay Rays series.
Boston and Tampa Bay are tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the 13th inning. However, the Rays nearly led, 5-4, in the top half of the inning.
The Rays hit a shot to the gap with a man on first base, who was well on his way to scoring with two outs. However, the hit off Kevin Kiermaier’s bat bounced off the Red Sox right fielder and went into the bullpen.
So, the hit was called a ground-rule double, sending the runner from first base back to third base. The Red Sox got the next batter out, ending the inning.
WHAT IS HAPPENING pic.twitter.com/9dSKcYp20l
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) October 11, 2021
Few people in the MLB world, if any, had ever seen something like this.
I’ve seen 70 trillion games, at every level, and I’ve never seen a play like that.
— Bob Ryan (@GlobeBobRyan) October 11, 2021
IVE LITERALLY NEVER SEEN THIS BEFORE AND ITS IN THE BIGGEST SITUATION SO FAR THIS POSTSEASON
— Ben Verlander (@BenVerlander) October 11, 2021
I’ve never seen this… ever. Wow.
— Will Middlebrooks (@middlebrooks) October 11, 2021
However, according to the MLB rulebook, the umpires got this right.
“If a fair ball not in flight is deflected by a fielder and then goes out of play, the award is two bases from the time of the pitch,” the MLB rulebook reads.
The rulebook probably needs to be changed, though. It should be the umpire’s discretion as to how many bases are awarded. The Rays were easily going to score on that hit.
Alas, the Red Sox ended the game in the bottom of the 13th inning.