Twins pitcher José Berrios was dealing yesterday. When he faced Baltimore catcher Chance Sisco in the ninth inning of Sunday’s game, Berrios had a 7-0 lead and had given up just one hit in the game.
With the Orioles’ chances dwindling, the Twins shifted heavily against Sisco, who had Baltimore’s only previous hit on the day. That shift left the left side of the infield wide open, and the 23-year-old laid down a beautiful bunt for a hit, kicking off a miniature rally—anyway, a walk and another hit—that ultimately failed. The Twins won, Berrios kept his shutout. This was not the end of it.
After the game, it became clear that the winning team was steamed that the other guys had ... also tried?
Even in the idiotic annals of unwritten rules this isn’t a Thing! Sure, a comeback by the Orioles was highly unlikely at that point and it must have been very exciting for José that he was pitching so well. But throwing eight strong frames does not entitle you to cruise to a one-hitter, which, while we’re here, is not even a record-book stat. The Twins were still playing competitively by shifting, and Sisco competed right back and beat it.
Or as an anonymous non-Oriole put it:
According to masnsports.com, the Orioles’ front office is rightfully backing up their young catcher for accomplishing the objective of his at-bat—get on base:
“What is the unwritten rule he seems to be referring to?” said vice president of baseball operations Brady Anderson. “That if a team is winning by several runs they can continue to employ their shift taking certain hits away from the batter, but out of respect ‘for the game,’ the opponent must continue to hit the ball where they’ve positioned their defense until the score is a little closer? Is that how it works? Is he the arbiter of how the game should be played?
“Chance’s age is irrelevant and although we do have a veteran presence here, that type of advice was not needed because what he did was correct, which was to reach base any way possible.”
After the game, Twins manager Paul Molitor told reporters, “It kind of took some of the drama out of what might have unfolded, but that’s fine.” Nope, not butthurt at all.