During one of the playoff live chats — I can’t remember which one — there was a lively argument about the old “tie goes to the runner” rule. I can’t remember who was arguing, but I’m pretty sure it was some of you Phillies people, because I recall the argument being shrill and emotional.
But seriously, that’s a argument that seems to pop up all the time. It usually ends with someone saying “show me where in the rules it says that,” after which someone changes the subject.
Thankfully, we have David Wade over at The Hardball Times doing our dirty work for us. He examines the conventional wisdom behind the “tie goes to the runner” thing, then examines the rule and reviews how umpires tend to think about those situations in which the ball and the runner’s foot arrive at the bag at precisely the same time.
The result? Well, you gotta read the article. But let us just note for now that people who don’t like references to “the human element” when calls are blown will not like the answer very much.
Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen gave up three runs in the top of the ninth inning during Sunday’s game against the Braves, blowing his first save since August 26 last season. He had converted 34 consecutive saves.
Jansen yielded back-to-back singles to lead off the ninth inning, staked to a 4-1 lead. After getting two outs, Matt Adams hit a three-run home run down the right field line to knot the game at four apiece.
After Sunday’s lackluster performance, Jansen is now 24-for-25 in save chances this season with a 1.49 ERA and a 62/2 K/BB ratio in 42 1/3 innings.
Orioles closer Zach Britton finished Sunday’s 9-7 victory over the Astros with a scoreless ninth inning, earning his sixth save of the season. He has now earned the save in 55 consecutive opportunities dating back to September 2015, setting a new American League record. Tom Gordon previously held the record with 54 consecutive saves. Eric Gagne holds the major league record at 84.
Britton’s last blown save came on September 20, 2015, then converted two more saves before the end of the regular season. He went 47-for-47 in save chances last season and is six-for-six so far this year.
Along with his six saves, Britton has a 2.65 ERA and a 13/8 K/BB ratio in 17 innings this season. The lefty came off the disabled list earlier this month after missing two months with a strained left forearm.